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November 2020

Craig Buerstatte – Deputy Assistant Secretary, Regional Affairs

Craig Buerstatte – Deputy Assistant Secretary, Regional Affairs

Craig is an entrepreneurial public servant, passionate about building teams, businesses, and communities for the future. He first honed his innovation skills in remote areas of Iraq as an Army Officer, developing new supply chain solutions and infrastructure when resources were strained, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his creative combat leadership. Craig leveraged this experience to jump into entrepreneurship, building a technology firm and investing in startups in Austin, TX, before returning to public service in 2014 to help build the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (OIE) at the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Most recently, Craig has served as the Director for OIE; working to foster a more innovative and resilient economy through policy initiatives and grant programs that support entrepreneurship and technology innovation as tools for economic development. Craig’s leadership helped to grow OIE’s grant programs 350% the last six years and drive impacts of over $1.6 billion in investment capital and 14,000 jobs. He also led the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the Department of Commerce, helping to form new federal policies and modernize old ones that are preparing communities for the industries and workforce of the future.

In his free time, Craig serves as a member of the Federal Innovation Council, a team of civil servant leaders advising the Partnership for Public Service on strategies to move the Federal Government into a modern, 21st Century enterprise. And when not trying to get his Grants Online login to work, he can be found digging in his Japanese evergreen garden in Capitol Hill, kayak fishing somewhere around the DMV, or chasing his toddler around one of the many local parks.

Craig’s foundation in economic development can be traced through his education. He earned a B.S. in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Susan Brehm – Regional Director, Chicago Regional Office

Susan Brehm – Regional Director, Chicago Regional Office

Susan Brehm joined EDA in 2013 as Regional Counsel in Chicago. In that role, Susan served on the Chicago Regional Office’s management team and advised on a wide range of legal issues. She also volunteered to draft regulations for the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Regional Innovation Strategies program (Build2Scale) and initiated a project to memorialize legal analysis and opinions for the Office of Chief Counsel. Over the past year Susan has rotated in as the Acting Regional Director in Chicago while the team doubled in size from 12 to 24 employees and awarded more than $150 million in regular, disaster supplemental, and CARES Act funding.

Prior to joining EDA, Susan was a litigator with the law firm Sidley Austin, where she maintained a robust pro bono portfolio that found her successfully appealing a capital sentence, securing political asylum, and fighting for veterans’ benefits. She also taught land use courses at Loyola University of Chicago’s School of Law and was a fellow with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Susan started in the Midwest, growing up on a diversified small farm and graduating from Loras College in Dubuque before earning her J.D. from the University of California – Berkeley School of Law, where she served as the Senior Supervising Editor and Executive Committee Member of the California Law Review and an editor of the Ecology Law Quarterly.

In her spare time, Susan enjoys pie-fueled cycling across Iowa (aka RAGBRAI), reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and giant family.

Noha Gaber, Chief Strategy Officer, Headquarters

Noha Gaber, Chief Strategy Officer, Headquarters

Noha will support strategy formulation and execution of enterprise-wide operational improvements and continual business model innovation.

She joins EDA from the Architect of the Capitol, where since 2017 she served as the Director of Performance, Strategy and Innovation and led a team responsible for implementing continuous improvement efforts to strengthen AOC’s management infrastructure. She led and oversaw a portfolio of five program areas which focus on strategic and operational planning, performance measurement and management, data analytics, process analysis and improvement, organizational development and customer experience.

An environmental engineer by training, over the span of her 15-year public service career, Noha has developed a passion for driving and maintaining organizational excellence and high performance. She previously served as the Chief of Staff of NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Prior to NOAA, she spent 11 years at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where she served as a change agent and demonstrated leadership in catalyzing, developing and managing innovative initiatives at an enterprise-wide scale. She served as the founding Director of EPA’s Office of Internal Communications where she developed and lead agency-wide programs and activities to help operationalize a One EPA collaborative and innovative working environment. She also founded and led (2006-2011) the EPA Emerging Leaders Network, an EPA employee organization that works to provide networking and professional development opportunities for EPA’s future leaders.

Noha is active in the inter-agency space, including currently serving as the lead for a Task Force on assessing and improving management quality in federal agencies and co-chair of the Federal Improvement Team. She previously founded the Federal Internal Communications Community of Practice, co-led GovConnect, a government-wide initiative under the President Obama’s Second Term Management Agenda, and served as a member of the White House Advisory Group on Reform of the Senior Executive Service.

Noha received her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Southampton in England and also holds a Certificate in Knowledge Management. She resides in Rockville, MD and when she isn’t working to improve how the Federal government operates, you can find her enjoying the outdoors, or whipping up some gluten-free deliciousness or working on a creative crafty project.

Thomas McGinty, EDA Chief Mission Integration Officer (CMIO), Headquarters

Thomas McGinty, EDA Chief Mission Integration Officer

Thomas McGinty joins EDA as its Chief Mission Integration Officer (CMIO) under CARES. As CMIO, Tom will be responsible for the overall management and coordination of EDA activities to implement EDA’s $1.5 billion CARES appropriation and will provide expert advice in multiple areas of responsibility. Tom is joining EDA after completing his second tour serving as ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service National Director for U.S. Operations. As National Director, Tom managed the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Commercial Service network of U.S. offices, comprised of approximately 300 trade professionals in over 100 locations throughout the United States. Over his 30-year career, Tom has served in several ITA leadership positions, including Acting ITA Deputy Under Secretary, Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations, Acting Deputy Director General of the U.S. Commercial Service, Senior Advisor to the Director General, National Director, and Regional Director.

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