Don Cunningham, President & CEO

Don Cunningham headshotDon Cunningham has been president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation since July 2012. Prior to leading the region’s economic development organization, Cunningham served in a variety of key public and private positions for more than two decades.

He was twice-elected Mayor of Bethlehem, twice-elected Lehigh County Executive, and the appointed Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of General Services in Governor Ed Rendell’s administration. He also served as President of the Pennsylvania League of Cities and as a member of Bethlehem City Council. Prior to his public sector career, Cunningham worked for the Fortune 500-company, PPL, in Allentown and served in the Moravian College administration in Bethlehem.

Cunningham has played a key role in the economic renaissance of the Lehigh Valley, which includes the principal cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, and part of the transformation of the region’s economy from heavy industry to a diversified economic base with an annual GDP of $39 billion. He has been responsible for managing budgets ranging from $50 million to $4 billion and has overseen economic development and/or urban growth initiatives, resulting in billions in new investments and the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.

Cunningham earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in government in 1987 from Shippensburg University and a Master of Arts in political science from Villanova University in 1991, where he graduated summa cum laude. He was born and raised in Bethlehem, where his family has lived for five generations.

Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

Industry Spotlight

9.1% of Labor Force
Employed in Professional, Technical, Financial & Business Services
Q2 2017

By the Numbers
$39.1 Billion

Gross Domestic Product
2016

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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10.5% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing
Q2 2017

By the Numbers
$3.44 Billion

Exports
2015

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Air Products
By the Numbers
$59,989

Median Household Income

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PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
24,246

New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

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National Penn
By the Numbers
659,312

Population

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Olympus
By the Numbers
344,623

Labor Force

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Lutron Electronics
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33% of Labor Force
Employed in Health Care, Social Assistance & Education

By the Numbers
4,399

Technology Patents from 2000-2015

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Mack Trucks
Industry Spotlight

10.7% of Labor Force
Employed in Accomodation, Food Services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation

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UGI
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NFI
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15% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA
2015-2016 academic year

By the Numbers
$6.9 Billion

Manufactuing Contribution to GDP
2016

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BB&T
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68th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

By the Numbers
$7.98 Billion

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
Contribution to GDP
2016

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Seedcopa
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9,747 degrees awarded by colleges and universities
2014-2015 academic year

By the Numbers
$5.3 Billion

Professional & Business Services
Contribution to GDP
2016

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Fuling
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80,000 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
21.7%

Population between ages 18 and 34

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Workforce Board