The first U.S. think tank focused exclusively on the economic situation of the Heartland region has hired its first chief research officer.
Heartland Forward, spearheaded by members of the Walton family and led by former Walton Fellow and Milken Institute Chief Research Officer Ross DeVol, has hired David Shideler to lead the Bentonville “think and do” tank’s research portfolio.
Shideler comes from Oklahoma State University where he was most recently serving as a professor and community and economic development specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics.
“I am thrilled to welcome David to Heartland Forward to drive our robust research agenda,” Devol said in a statement. “Through his work in both academia and community development, Dave has unique and deep expertise on important economic issues such as the critical role that entrepreneurs play in community vibrancy. I look forward to putting his research and ideas into action to help the Heartland reach its full potential.”
Shideler has published several peer-reviewed research articles, notably on the economic impacts of internet access, incentive programs and local food production.
Shideler will collaborate with Heartland Forward’s research team, including visiting fellows Richard Florida and Joel Kotkin, to produce original research in several focus areas: regional competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship, building human capital, and addressing health risks and disparities.
“I am excited to join the Heartland Forward team and help advance their mission of economic renewal in the American Heartland,” Shideler said. “As the son of Heartland natives, their work hits close to home for me. I’m looking forward to conducting research that can lead to real-world solutions.”
Shideler holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics and an M.A. in Economics from Ohio State University, an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the Pennsylvania State University, and a B.S. in Community and Rural Development from Clemson University.