About CREC

The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization founded to provide policy-makers from around the world with the information and technical assistance they need to formulate and execute innovative, regional, job-creating economic strategies.

Our staff members come from around the globe, bringing with them diverse backgrounds, and world-class skill sets.

CREC fellow

Catherine Renault
Senior Research Fellow


Catherine Renault, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and principal / owner of Innovation Policyworks LLC, a firm that provides research and analysis to enable economic development officials at the state, regional and local levels make more data-driven decisions. Her clients focus on innovation and entrepreneurship as critical elements of successful economic development, and use evaluation for program improvement and policymaking.

Dr. Renault has twenty-four years of experience in state technology-based economic development and evaluation. She was the Director of the Maine Office of Innovation and Science Advisor to Governor John Baldacci. Her previous state role was as Managing Director of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology where she was responsible for entrepreneurship and access to capital policy as well as statewide technology transfer initiatives. She began her career running incubators for CIT and George Mason University. She also spent ten years in the private sector including with AT&T and Data General.

Dr. Renault is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and of the Board of Managers for Sea Change Group, LLC. She also has a research appointment at the University of Maine with the Foster Center for Student Innovation. She previously served on Board of Directors for the Maine Technology Institute, the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, CEI Capital Management (CCML), the Board of Trustees for the State Science and Technology Institute, the Governor’s Task Force on Ocean Energy, and Maine’s Broadband Strategy Council.

Education, Honors, and Certifications:

  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Doctor of Philosophy, Public Policy Analysis
  • University of Virginia, Master’s of Public Administration
  • Harvard University, Radcliffe College, Bachelor’s of Arts, Government

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