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Catalyzing City and Anchor Institution Partnerships

As cities look for ways to support inclusive economic growth, they are increasingly turning to anchor institutions – colleges, universities, hospitals, and medical centers – as partners. Too often, though, these partnerships are narrowly defined and transaction based.

This event brought together leaders from government, philanthropy, universities, and hospitals to discuss strategies for cultivating mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships that promote local prosperity. Guided by the National Resource Network report Striking a (Local) Grand Bargain—authored by NYU Wagner and co-authored by the Urban Institute, funded by the Ford Foundation—the discussion included two dynamic panels. The first focused on how to best form partnerships between cities, anchor institutions, and philanthropic organizations. The second focused on how leaders in several industries and sectors are using new approaches to advance ground-level improvements.

Speakers included:

  • Jon Aram, cofounder and CEO, Next Street
  • Nancy Cantor, chancellor, Rutgers University–Newark
  • Malcolm Duncan, mayor, Waco, Texas
  • David Eichenthal, managing director, PFM Group;  executive director, National Resource Network
  • Ryan Friedrichs, chief development officer, City of Detroit 
  • Neil Kleiman, deputy executive director of policy, research, and evaluation, National Resource Network; director, NYU Wagner Innovation Labs
  • Erika Poethig, Institute fellow and director of urban policy initiatives, Urban Institute
  • Charles Rutheiser, senior associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation 
  • Joan Quinlan, vice president for community health, Massachusetts General Hospital 
  • Sarah Rosen Wartell, president, Urban Institute
  • Wim Wiewel, president, Portland State University

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The Annie E. Casey Foundation provided funding for this event. We thank our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. The views expressed are those of the presenters and should not be attributed to our funders, the Urban Institute, or its trustees. Funders do not determine our research findings or the insights and recommendations of our experts. For more information on our funding principles, go to

Date & Time Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Urban Institute 2100 M Street NW
5th Floor
WashingtonD.C. 20037 , DC , 20037
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