Colin Tarbert Earns Certified Economic Developer Designation from the International Economic Development Council

The CEcD Certification Program is the most prestigious designation in the economic development profession

Baltimore, MD—Colin Tarbert, President and CEO of The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment, and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

The CEcD Certification Program, administered by The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), is the most prestigious designation in the economic development profession. This certification demonstrates Colin’s exceptional technical expertise, comprehensive conceptual knowledge, and mastery of economic development skills and strategies.

Currently, Tarbert leads BDC, the quasi-city agency responsible for overseeing Baltimore City’s economic development. During his tenure at BDC, he’s been integral in leading Baltimore Together – the city’s comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS), the $250 million CFG Bank Arena transformation, and the distribution of $30 million to over 2,000 small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Working in economic development for nearly 20 years, Tarbert has held various leadership roles for the Mayor’s Office of Baltimore City during three separate administrations, including Deputy Chief of Strategic Alliances and Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development.

“Colin’s achievement of the CEcD designation marks a significant milestone for BDC, highlighting our dedication to excellence in economic development,” remarked Augie Chiasera, M&T Bank’s regional president for Greater Baltimore and BDC’s Chairman of the Board. “This prestigious credential underscores Colin’s leadership role in driving innovation, investment, and economic growth in our community. It’s a testament to the bright future of Baltimore’s economy.”

To attain this designation, Tarbert was required to complete a rigorous examination, including multiple choice and written portions of the CEcD exam on March 1, 2024, and the oral interview on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The exam tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency, and judgment in the following key areas of economic development:

  • Accelerating growth through entrepreneurship-led economic development
  • Business retention and expansion
  • Entrepreneurial & small business development
  • Finance & credit analysis
  • Foreign direct investment & exporting
  • Introduction to entrepreneurship-led economic development
  • Managing economic development organizations
  • Marketing & attraction
  • Neighborhood development strategies
  • Real estate development & reuse
  • Strategic planning
  • Technology-led economic development
  • Workforce development strategies

Certified Economic Developers serve as catalysts for change within their local communities, bridging the gap and fostering collaboration between public officials, business leaders, and community members. With an unwavering passion for championing innovative strategies and initiatives, they propel transformative economic growth and elevate community well-being. Their unparalleled expertise and dedication to excellence position them as trailblazers at the forefront of shaping the economic development landscape. Colin Tarbert is now one of over 1,200 active CEcDs throughout the world.

About the Baltimore Development Corporation

The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) is the economic development agency for the City of Baltimore. Our mission is to grow the city’s economy in an inclusive manner by retaining, expanding, and attracting businesses and promoting investment, thereby increasing career opportunities for residents.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With thousands of members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development practices. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more about the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation by visiting

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