Don Cunningham, President & CEO
Don 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 of $42.9 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 ranked among the Top 10 regions in the Northeastern United States for economic growth, as well as Top 10 nationwide among regions of its population size. In 2020, 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.