The Purdue University North Central College of Business announces the appointment of Dr. R. Derek Bjonback, associate professor of Economics to Director of The Center for Economic Development and Research (CEDaR).
“We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Bjonback’s credentials serving as director of CEDaR,” said Dr. Cynthia Roberts, dean of the College of Business. “His expertise will help our Center achieve its mission to assist in the economic development efforts of the region through the provision of data, programming, and consulting.”
Bjonback will be responsible for connecting and collaborating with local economic development entities in their efforts to improve the region through CEDaR, the Center for Economic Development and Research. The Center is also responsible for assisting in workforce development initiatives through the provision of customized training as well as the promotion and support of entrepreneurship.
According to Bjonback, “We foresee the Center becoming a catalyst for the analysis of regional economic trends and opportunities to assist the economic development community. CEDaR will be a platform for PNC to co-operate with other regional universities and economic development organizations to better understand our regional economy and its potential.”
Bjonback brings a vast background in and understanding of economics to this position. Prior to moving with his family to the United States in 1995, Bjonback served 20 years as a program manager and economist for water planning and development for Environment Canada, Canada’s federal environmental management agency.
He spent seven years working in the business sector in Northern Indiana as an economic development professional and consultant before joining PNC as a full-time faculty member in 2002.
Bjonback earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from Simon Fraser University in Canada. He holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in Economics from Colorado State University. He has authored numerous papers related to the regional economic development of Northwest Indiana and the Midwest economy. Of particular note is his work as part of the Council of Regional Economic Advisors which includes representatives from Purdue Calumet, Valparaiso University, Indiana University Northwest, Center for Workforce Innovations, Northwest Indiana Forum, NIPSCO and the Northern Indiana Small Business Development Center.