Specializes in regional economic analysis and cluster strategy development. Much of his work focuses on small business development and improving technology transfer mechanisms to promote regional growth. Extensive prior experience in regional impact studies, transportation economics, cost/benefit analysis and environmental studies, and since joining ECG ten years ago, has applied these skills to cluster analysis and competitiveness studies. Research themes include: the exploration of technology development issues and related technology strategy planning; small enterprise development; profiles of civic entrepreneurship; role of clustering in economic development. He has performed cluster analysis and readiness assessments in apparel, aviation, agribusiness, biotechnology, IT, metals and machinery, tourism, transportation, and wood products industries.
Utilizing this broad knowledge in a variety of fields, Dr. Hansen’s focus is on implementation issues – how to ensure that a competitiveness program, once designed, will actually have a sustainable impact. As a practitioner he applies innovative facilitation techniques to foster collaboration, identifyies and supports strong leaders, and incorporates region-specific values and cultural issues. His projects are designed to combine relevant quantitative analysis with these process elements to ensure robust implementation.
Dr. Hansen has engaged in or led cluster-based strategy projects in Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa, Panama, Nicaragua and Mexico, as well as regions in or state-wide strategies for Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, California, Texas, Kansas, Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, with a special focus on public/private collaboration, technology issues and small business development. In the former centrally-planned economies of Russia and Nicaragua, he has conducted seminars on competitiveness and worked with local officials to design implementable competitiveness programs. He is currently serving as Project Director of a $2 million World Bank-funded cluster development project in Georgia (FSU), responsible for the methodology as well as training and supervision of 50 local consultants. He has developed a 2-day training course that incorporates theory and case studies based on his experience in over 30 countries.
Dr. Hansen is also serving a 2-year term as president of The Competitiveness Institute, a non-profit network of cluster practitioners world-wide, dedicated to improved understanding of competitiveness and establishing professional standards in this fast-growing field (www.competitiveness.org
Selected ECG Assignments:
Armenia Competitiveness Assessment. Conducted an assessment of the prospects for launching a cluster-led economic development program in Armenia. Evaluated 6 industries that are candidates for cluster activation, and outlined key steps in building a competitiveness program.
Marin County (California) Target Industry Study. Prepared a profile of county’s economy, featuring the first cluster identification. Conducted data collection, focus groups and interviews to determine which existing and emerging clusters should be the focus of future economic development activities. Recommendations for collaborative methods to implement regional economic development initiatives. Project Director.
Georgia Food and Beverage Enterprise Restructuring Project. Leading consortium of three US consulting firms to provide technical assistance to the Center for Enterprise Restructuring and Management Assistance. Conducting readiness assessment of potential agribusiness clusters, with selection of 5 clusters for cluster activation activities, including analysis, leadership and cluster facilitation training, international benchmarking trips, selection of agribusiness specialists, collaborative strategy development, and implementation support. Supervision of 50 local and 15 expatriate consultants. Project Director.
Nicaragua National Competitiveness Program. Conducted an assessment in 2001, and was asked to return as director of a multidisciplinary team to conduct a “turnaround” of the existing competitiveness program. Helped to re-orient the existing cluster activities, which were highly concentrated in Managua, to a more regional basis, by conducting trainings and cluster initiative development in 7 regions. Improved linkages to the Presidential Competitiveness Commission, and recommended organizational changes that can further strengthen the impact of the competitiveness program on the economy’s performance.
Volga Regional Development Strategy, Perm, Russia. Working with the Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation at Volga Federal District, designing a cluster-led competitiveness strategy for development of the Volga Region. Launched Forestry Products cluster in Perm in June, 2002 as a pilot cluster development activity to demonstrate cluster methods and evolve techniques suitable for the Russian economy and business climate. 2002-3.
Sarasota County (Florida) Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. 1-year participative strategy development project to develop an integrated and community-focused Five-Year Economic Development Plan. The team utilized cluster facilitation methods to engage all elements of the community, with special emphasis on civic entrepreneurs, to engage in collaborative economic strategy development. Clusters launched: Creative Services, Specialty Manufacturing, Biotechnology, and IT. Project Director. 2002-3.
Compite Panamá. Served as cluster strategist for Information Technology and Logistics/Intermodal Transportation Clusters for the Panamanian Competitiveness Program. Helped form the overall Grupo de Competitividad, defined two of the four key clusters, identified and interviewed leaders, formed working groups, and assisted groups to form cluster development strategies. 2002-3.
Pasadena Biotechnology Training and Innovation Center. Project Director of 3-firm consortium to assess need for and design a multi-use biotechnology facility associated with Caltech, CSU and Pasadena Community College. Formed and facilitated Steering Committee of senior researchers and business leaders to oversee consulting team’s work and extend the team’s ability to design and create implementation plan for this innovative and ambitious expansion on the incubator concept. 2000-2001.
Long-range Perspective Plan for Pakistan. Led Technology Strategy Component for a 10-year, cluster-based planning effort funded by the Asian Development Bank. 1997-98.
Louisiana Competitiveness Training Workshop. Conducted 2-day Cluster and Competitiveness Methodology Training Workshop for Secretary of Economic Development, 15 DED staff members and 10 economic development professionals from around Louisiana. 2002.
Nicaragua: Assessment of National Competitiveness Program. Evaluated organizational structure and facilitation techniques used by the PNC, and made recommendations regarding improved monitoring and evaluation systems, concentrating cluster programs geographically to create greater regional momentum, and suggestions for motivating and supporting business leaders to take a more active part in strategy development and implementation. 2002.
Monterey County Comprehensive Economic Strategy. Conducted in-depth analysis of Monterey economy, with special emphasis on workforce development requirements and capabilities. Conducted demographic and institutional analysis, business climate assessment and cluster identification, using surveys and and executive and community focus groups. Made recommendations on economic development strategy, including workforce development, marketing, and cluster development strategies. (In conjunction with related projects to design Agribusiness Competitiveness Center in Salinas, and in-depth economic profile and business climate assessment of the South County region.) Project Director. 2001-2.
Chihuahua Services Attraction Strategy. Directed a project aimed at diversifying the Mexican state of Chihuahua’s economy from assembly manufacturing to more advanced services and regional and divisional headquarters. Worked with local industry leaders to shape a new cluster-based approach to moving up the value-added chain. 2000-2001.
Kansas Comprehensive Economic Strategy Update. Project director for year-long state-wide economic strategy development process. Held forums in 15 locations across Kansas, and conducted analysis of economy and institutions. Recommended a strategy focusing on implementation of Knowledge Economy principles, with special attention to reinforcing Wichita’s aerospace cluster. Rural areas also received particular attention, adopting a regionalization of economic strategies around a dozen market center towns, and leveraging existing universities and community colleges as instruments of economic development. 2000-2001.
South Africa: Tourism Clustering Initiative. Year-long national and regional tourism leadership action initiative to create an effective public/private strategy and implementation effort to develop South Africa’s tourism industry create needed jobs. Benchmarked tourism cluster against competitors in major market segments, analyzed cluster structure in South Africa, facilitated National Tourism Leadership Group, and developed market segmentation strategy. 1998-99.
Louisiana Economic Development Strategy. Project Director for major review of Louisiana’s economic development strategy undertaken for the Office of the Governor. Project involved detailed analysis of six “emerging technology” clusters (IT, Bio-medical, Food Technologies, Micromanufacturing, Advanced Materials and Environmental Technologies), including global marketing and technology trends. Recommendations resulted in new regional development strategy for Louisiana, and major reorganization of DED. Adapted Louisiana’s Vision 20/20 to include a competitiveness component, and made recommendations to re-organize Department of Economic Development along cluster lines. Recommended a cluster development strategy with stronger private/public collaboration and hiring of specialists to support nine clusters at the state level. Subcontractors included IBM Global Services and DRI/McGraw-Hill. 1999-2001.
Pennsylvania’s Clusters. Analysis of challenges and opportunities for Pennsylvania’s key industrial clusters, highlighting newly emerging “seed” clusters in four pilot regions. 1997-98.
Indiana: Blueprint for a Dynamic Small-Business Community. Led a research project to identify and study dynamic entrepreneurial communities world-wide. Conducted site visits in Denmark, Spain and England. Researched Catalonia, Spain’s micro-clusters initiative. 1997.
Transformando Campeche. Cluster-based economic strategy project for Campeche, Mexico. First state in a broader Southeast Mexico regional economic strategy effort. Conducted cluster analysis and facilitated cluster working groups for shrimp, light industry and oil products. Formed high level Project Steering Committee and made presentations six times per year to update this leadership group and obtain their guidance. 1996-99.
1992-1996: Principal, Economic Competitiveness Group, DRI/McGraw-Hill, San Francisco
Responsible for international and domestic consulting relating to economic impact assessments and economic strategy projects conducted by DRI/McGraw-Hill. This unit spun out of DRI in 1997 to become an independent company, though still collaborating with DRI (now DRI-WEFA).
Industrial Master Plan for Malaysia. Responsible for cluster analysis and economic strategy development for Malaysia’s 2nd Industrial Master Plan and Vision 20/20. Team Leader. 1995-96.
Agenda El Paso. Led a one-year economic strategy development project for the City of El Paso, Texas, using cluster methods. Extensive economic diagnosis and competitiveness analysis, facilitation of 7 cluster working groups. Team Leader, 1994-95.
Chihuahua Siglo XXI. Participated in project planning and cluster working group meetings for one of the most successful cluster development projects. Worked with light manufacturing and transportation services clusters, strategy integration for all nine cluster working groups, and development of seven flagship initiatives. 1994-95.
Los Angeles Goods Movement Study. Analyzed economic impact of various environmental measures (e.g. Alameda Corridor, railroad electrification) on performance of goods movement sector and greater Los Angeles economy. Extensive analysis of Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and related warehousing, trucking, and rail activities. 1994.
Economic Impact of Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative. Project Director for multi-disciplinary team analyzing the GLWQI for Council of Great Lakes Governors using DRI regional economic model. 1993-94.
1985 - 1992: Regional Economist, Development Alternatives, Inc., Washington, D.C.
Responsible for research and consulting on economic development issues for developing economies. Clients included World Bank, US Agency for International Development, and Bechtel Inc.
Indonesia: Development Studies Project II. Served as policy adviser and Deputy Chief of Party on $15 million USAID-funded seven-person team supporting the National Development Planning Board (BAPPENAS) and the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS). Project work was split between quick response consulting and longer-run policy research. Undertook extensive travel in Eastern Indonesia to evaluate impact of deregulation of inter-island shipping, especially on smaller island economies. September 1988-June 1992.
Sri Lanka: Rural Income Study. For the USAID mission, analyzed income data from recent socioeconomic surveys and assessed the potential for using a regression-based methodology to generate annual estimates of mean rural income from regularly published data. May-June 1988.
Pakistan: Transport Advisory Project Design. Served as transport economist on a World Bank-sponsored urban transport advisory team, led by Volvo Transportation Systems. Designed a seven-year project to upgrade infrastructure and institutional implementation capability for the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), and provided technical assistance to LDA's planning unit. He made recommendations to the Punjab Provincial Government regarding institutional alternatives and overall transport policy. 1986-1987.
Washington, D.C.: Employment and Enterprise Policy Project. Assisted in preparation of state-of-the-art review of economic research into the impact of credit policy on the performance of small and medium enterprises in developing countries. USAID-funded. May-June 1986; May-June 1987.
Eastern Caribbean: Road Rehabilitation Evaluation. Participated as transport economist on a three‑person team evaluating road rehabilitation projects in St. Lucia and St. Vincent for USAID/Barbados. Evaluated the impact of rehabilitation of feeder roads and links in the primary road network on the transport and agricultural sectors, and performed a benefit-cost analysis of the project. Examined potential for inter-island transport of agricultural exports. Developed recommendations for future projects. 1985.
Washington, D.C.: World Sugar Market Analysis. Responsible for the market analysis of a feasibility study for a sugar/ethanol project in Zimbabwe financed by the U.S. Trade and Development Program. Prepared forecasts of domestic and international consumption of sugar and analyzed its implications for the viability of the private small holder estate component of the project. 1985
1980-1985: Transportation Economist, Volvo Transportation Systems, Gothenburg, Sweden
Responsible for analysis of urban and inter-urban travel demand modeling to support transportation infrastructure investments in Pakistan, Peru, Angola and Northern Europe.
Ph.D. Economics, Boston University, 1990 B.A. Economics, University of California at Berkeley, 1984
Fluency (scale of 0-5)
Bahasa Indonesia FS-3
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS & PROFESSIONAL REPORTS
What Motivates Civic Entrepreneurs? Profiles in Co-opetition, Industry Focus, Port Louis, Mauritius, March-April 2002.
Reinventing Nicaragua: Collaborative Methods for Implementing the National Competitiveness Program, Government of Nicaragua, 2001.
Florida New Cornerstone Strategic Plan: “Entrepreneurship and Emerging Business” Florida Chamber Foundation, 2001.
Transforming Nicaragua: An Assessment of the Nicaraguan National Competitiveness Program, Managua, Nicaragua, 2001.
Shifting Gears in Chihuahua: a Headquarters Development Strategy, Chihuahua, Mexico, 2001.Kansas Comprehensive Strategic Plan Update, Kansas, Inc., 2001
South Africa’s Tourism Challenge: A Profile of the Tourism Cluster, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Government of South Africa, 1999.
Pennsylvania’s Clusters: Building Blocks for a Technology-Led Competitiveness Strategy, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, 1998.
Manufacturing Plus Plus: A Cluster-based Economic Strategy for Malaysia, with the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, prepared for the Malaysia Ministry for International Trade and Industry (MITI), March 1996.
Transformando Campeche, Campeche’s Challenge and Strategies for Building New Competitiveness, Consejo Empresarial de Campeche and State of Campeche, Mexico, 1997.
Blueprint for a Dynamic Small Business Community, The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, 1997.
The Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative: Cost Effective Measures to Enhance Environmental Quality and Regional Competitiveness, Project Manager, Council of Great Lakes Governors, September, 1993.
Illinois International Trade Strategy: Focusing on our Best Opportunities, Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, July, 1992.
Efficiency and Financial Feasibility: Options for Re-structuring the Indonesian Electric Power Industry, DSP Policy Memorandum, October 1991.
The Consequences of Deregulation of Interisland Shipping in Indonesia, Harris, John R., Budhy Tjahjati S. Soegijoko, and Alec L. Hansen. Paper presented at the First Pacific Regional Science Congress, Bandung, Indonesia, July 1990.
Inter-island Shipping in Eastern Indonesia: Policy Findings and Recommendations, Alec Hansen, Michael Romanos, Suprayoga Hadi, Carla Chifos, Montty Girianna, Development Studies Project Research Paper #10 (DSP #122), April 1991.
Port Investment Evaluation System for Bappenas, DSP Policy Memorandum, April 1991.
Hirschman Linkages Between Agriculture and Manufacturing, Research Memo #43, March 1990.
The Link between Travel Time Reliability and the Technology Choice of the Firm, dissertation, Boston University Economics Department, September 1989.
Preliminary Estimates of Capital Stock for Indonesia's Manufacturing Sector, DSP Working Paper, March 1989.
Sri Lanka Rural Income Study, DAI/HIID report under Employment and Enterprise Policy Analysis Project, August 1988.
An Evaluation of the Productive Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project in St Lucia and St Vincent, West Indies, with C.C. Donato and Eric Shearer, September 1985.
Chisumbanje Sugar-Ethanol Project: Feasibilty Study (Zimbabwe), with Tony Barclay, Randy Old, and Tony Babb, study conducted for Bechtel Corporation and US Export-Import Bank, October 1985.
Public Transportation Options for Arequipa, Peru, with Gunnar Lagerqvist, VTS Transportation Systems, September 1981.
Urban Travel Pattern for Lahore, Pakistan, with Boo Frejrud, Volvo Transporation Systems, Gothenburg, Sweden, October 1980.