Former State Treasurer, DTE Executive Nick Khouri Named Top Jobs and Economic Development Official for Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has named Nick Khouri, former state treasurer and DTE executive, as the city’s new top jobs and economic development official, effective Jan. 1. He will replace Tom Lewand, who announced plans to retire after serving in the role since Duggan took office in January 2014.
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Nick Khouri
Nick Khouri has been named top jobs and economic development official for Detroit. // Photo courtesy of the city of Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has named Nick Khouri, former state treasurer and DTE executive, as the city’s new top jobs and economic development official, effective Jan. 1. He will replace Tom Lewand, who announced plans to retire after serving in the role since Duggan took office in January 2014.

Lewand has agreed to stay on through February to assist with Khouri’s transition.

“I am excited to work for this mayor because I believe completely in the work he’s doing to bring jobs and opportunity back to the city. I can’t wait to get to work,” Khouri says. “I’ve seen close up how the city has managed its financial recovery. I am excited to bring whatever value I can to grow the city’s economy and job base. Under Tom Lewand’s steady leadership, Detroit has made tremendous progress, and I look forward to building on the work that Tom and his team have done.”

Duggan says he was impressed with Khouri’s integrity and professionalism as state treasurer during the city’s journey out of bankruptcy and state financial management.

“Leading the city’s economic revitalization is about relationships and trust, and Nick has those in both the public and private sectors,” says Duggan. “When Nick gave us his word on something, there was never a question it would happen. I’m thrilled to have him joining our team and putting his energy and experience to work attracting more jobs and opportunity to our city.”

As state treasurer, Khouri oversaw $22 billion in state tax revenue collections, provided the forecast of the state’s economy, and was familiar with large development deals that involved state and local incentives. As vice president and then senior vice president at DTE, Khouri was involved in the development and management of energy related businesses and services nationwide and oversaw government and regulatory relations at the local, state, and federal levels.

Duggan says having a finance expert and former business executive leading negotiations on major development deals will help ensure they balance the developers’ need for the numbers to work and that taxpayers’ interests are protected.

“With his deep experience in the business community and as state treasurer, Nick will understand better than anyone what level of city participation is necessary and appropriate to close development deals and how to structure them to maximize their benefit to Detroiters,” Duggan says.

Lewand led the city’s efforts to land major manufacturers and other job providers, most notably the 5,000-job FCA assembly plant now being built near Mack and St. Jean on the city’s east side, along with a major FCA supplier, Dakkota Integrated Solutions, and Ford’s Corktown campus and redevelopment of the Michigan Central Depot building.

“Tom built a great team that has had the trust and respect of business leaders, city council members, and community leaders,” Duggan says.  “Thanks to their work, Detroit is now known as a city that is business friendly, gets deals done, and delivers meaningful community benefits.”

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