University of Pittsburgh
March 24, 2016

Transformational Change through Public-Private Partnerships

President and CEO of the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Urban Innovation21 to deliver Discussions on Governance Lecture March 31
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—As the president and CEO of the nonprofit organization Urban Innovation21, William Generett Jr. supports entrepreneurship efforts in Southwestern Pennsylvania by connecting underrepresented communities with the region’s ever-expanding innovation economy. As part of Pitt’s 2016 Discussions on Governance Lecture Series, Generett will share his unique entrepreneurial career experiences and insights into how public-private partnerships can create transformational change across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“I am energized daily to lead our public-private partnership’s effort to grow our region’s economyMr. William Generett Jr. and to connect traditionally disconnected communities and the residents that live in those communities to our region’s economic prosperity,” said Generett. “When connections like that are made, our region not only becomes stronger but provides a better quality of life for more of its citizens.”

The lecture titled “Public-Private Partnerships: The Best Governance Structure to Create Transformation Change,” will be delivered at noon March 31, in the lower lounge of Pitt’s William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public; due to limited seating, reservations are encouraged.

Generett is responsible for the overall management of Urban Innovation21’s public-private partnership. In addition to fundraising, his responsibilities include shaping a shared mission, developing and implementing programs, and communicating a vision and economic model to internal and external stakeholders. Prior to joining Urban Innovation21 in 2007, Generett owned and operated ComForcare Senior Services, an in-home senior-citizen care service in Allegheny County, and served as a vice president for the Washington, D.C.-based legal staffing firm Compliance Inc.

A native of Point Breeze, Generett is an active member of numerous nonprofit boards and advisory committees throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. His memberships include the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Innovation Works, the Business Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and The Heinz Endowments’ African American Men and Boys Initiative Advisory Board, among others. In 2014, he was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to serve as a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Generett is licensed to practice law in both Pennsylvania and Georgia. For several years, he practiced corporate and real estate law in Atlanta, Ga., and he serves as a consultant for firms and organizations across the country. Generett earned his bachelor’s degree at Morehouse College and his JD degree at Emory University School of Law.

Formerly the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone, the Hill District-based Urban Innovation21 is a regional public-private economic development center that seeks to connect start-up hubs with the broader community. It is one of the first U.S.-based nonprofit organizations to work under the “Inclusive Innovation” model.

The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy sponsors Pitt’s Discussions on Governance Lectures. Established in 2007, the Thornburgh Forum builds on the legacy of Pitt alumnus and emeritus trustee Richard Lewis Thornburgh, a two-term governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and U.S. Attorney General under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. This installment of the lecture series is cosponsored by Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, School of Social Work, University Honors College, Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, and Institute of Politics.