Eugene Cornelius, Jr. is the Center for Regional Economics Senior Director. Prior to his role at the Institute, he held a distinguished career in public service, most recently as Senior Advisor to the Office of International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). After successfully setting up and organizing the Office of International Trade at the SBA as Deputy Associate Administrator, Gene accepted a one year detail to the International Council of Small Business (ICSB), located at George Washington University, where he brought his extensive international experience and executive leadership to the design, development, and delivery of the ICSB Global program between the United States and ten allied countries around the world that are interested in learning best practices on how to establish small business support agencies. The Program also promotes the facilitation of trade between other countries’ small businesses and the small businesses of the United States.
As Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade, Gene was responsible for administrating the oversight and execution of four program divisions: (1) The Federal & State Trade Development Division — which focuses on delivery and management of grants program, (2) The International Trade Finance Division — which provides Trade Financing, counseling, and training with SBA's 3 Loan programs via 21 Export Assistance Centers Nationwide, (3) The International Affairs & Trade Policy Division — which focuses on National initiatives, Trade policy mandates, export promotion interagency collaborative efforts, field network and outreach, and (4) Administration & Operations.
He previously served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Office of Business and Economic Development where he provided senior leadership to over 42% of the Agency’s budgeted workforce, ensuring the implementation of its overall goals, programs, and operations. Gene was responsible for management and oversight of over 90 offices covering all 50 States and U. S. Territories.
Gene is a graduate of both the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and Acquisition (Level 3) Senior Project Manager Program at American University and is nationally certified as an Associate in Risk Management (ARM). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and is a visiting Scholar at George Washington University. He was awarded the Harvard University School of Business “Bright Idea” for Innovation in American Government Award for the Business Builder economic development initiative. He is a native Chicagoan and life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.