Don Cunningham, President & CEO

Don Cunningham headshotDon Cunningham is President and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). Prior to leading the region’s economic development organization, Cunningham served in a variety of key public and private positions for three decades in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania.

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. He started his career as a newspaper reporter in Bethlehem and Philadelphia and contributes a monthly column on business and economics to The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown.

Cunningham has played a key role in the economic and cultural 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 exceeding $40 billion. He led Bethlehem during the collapse of Bethlehem Steel Corp. and launched the city’s transition to a new economy and the redevelopment of 1,800 acres of industrial land.

The Lehigh Valley has consistently been one of the five fastest regions in the Northeastern United States and one of the top ten growing markets in the U.S. of its size. In 2018, LVEDC was recognized as one of the 20 best economic development corporations in America by Site Selection magazine.

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

By the Numbers
$40.1 Billion

Gross Domestic Product

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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11% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

By the Numbers
$3.65 Billion

Exports

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Air Products
By the Numbers
$62,489

Median Household Income

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PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
26,000

New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

By the Numbers
669,899

Population

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Olympus
By the Numbers
345,260

Labor Force

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Lutron Electronics
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26.1% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
5,073

Technology Patents

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Mack Trucks
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UGI
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NFI
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14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

By the Numbers
$7.4 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

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BB&T
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69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

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Seedcopa
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10,328 degrees awarded by colleges and universities

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Fuling
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81,000 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
26.97%

Population between ages 18 and 34

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Workforce Board