Elected Officials Retreat

Marshaling Regional Assets to Build Shared Opportunities for Growth

The University of Pittsburgh's, Institute of Politics hosted the 25th Annual Elected Officials Retreat this year!


Thursday, December 8 and Friday, December 9, 2022


Sheraton Station Square
300 W Station Square Dr
Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Click here to download the draft agenda.
**Schedule is subject to change


The University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics has a proud 30+ year history of bringing together elected officials from all levels of government, and from both sides of the aisle, for programs that foster better understandings of, and develop effective strategies to address, issues that are important to our home region. The Elected Officials Retreat offers elected officials, key business and nonprofit leaders, and academics the opportunity for discussion in a neutral, off-the-record environment.

This year’s program focused on creating regional opportunities that bring together education, workforce development and infrastructure investments to generate economic growth, and promote economic opportunities for all Western Pennsylvania residents. As you will see from the draft agenda, the first day of the retreat featured the three following outstanding keynote sessions: 

  • Former Republican mayor of Indianapolis and current professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Stephen Goldsmith will present findings from his new book, Growing Fairly, alongside his coauthor, Kate Markin Coleman, former vice president of the national YMCA. 
  • John C. Austin, director of the Michigan Economic Center and nonresident senior fellow at Brookings Metro, will discuss his work on cohesive economic growth across regions and provide a comprehensive overview of economic development opportunities and best practices from other, similar regions.
  • Andy Berke, special representative for broadband at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce, will provide an update on current federal initiatives related to broadband and offer a look at how municipal leaders can ensure broadband access for unserved and underserved residents as well as update attendees.

Friday morning opened with a presentation from Pittsburgh’s newly elected mayor, Ed Gainey. Mayor Gainey will address challenges and initiatives from his first year in office and provide an outlook for moving forward. Next, three concurrent sessions aligned with the keynote presentations from Thursday were offered. The morning closed out with a full discussion on potential collective regional action, which is central to the Institute’s mission of bringing together stakeholders who are diverse in their geography, industry sector, and political affiliation.

Coleman Award Winners

On the evening of December 8, we hosted a dinner in honor of our 2022 Coleman Award winners. The Coleman Award recognizes individuals who have dedicated their lives to serving the southwestern Pennsylvania region and exhibited the qualities for which the Institute’s founding director, Moe Coleman, was known, particularly the ability to build bridges and make connections across disparate groups or communities.

John R. McGinley, Jr., Chair, Board of Directors, Eckert Seamans

Karen Farmer White, Education Consultant and Chair of the Seton Hill Board of Trustees