David Gray

City of Austin Economic Development Department

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City of Austin Economic Development Department


David Gray is a skilled strategist with expertise in municipal government operations, corporate social responsibility, and social innovation. His experience includes supervising COVID-19 economic recovery grant programs in Austin, TX; directing multi-million-dollar projects for the City and County of San Francisco; spearheading local and statewide legislative campaigns in California and Louisiana; managing staff and operations in the office of an elected official; and helping entrepreneurs launch and scale new businesses and nonprofit organizations.

David is currently the Assistant Director of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Previously, David was appointed by the City of Austin's Chief Economic Recovery Officer to oversee the development and implementation of twelve COVID-19 economic recovery programs totaling more than $50 million. He also managed six economic recovery focus groups, which were created to facilitate conversations between business owners and City staff in an effort to identify opportunities for immediate and long-term economic recovery.

Simultaneously, David managed the City of Austin Economic Development Department's Public Information and Marketing Office. This team was responsible for carrying out media relations, community engagement, marketing, and outreach activities on behalf of the department's six divisions. 

Prior to working in Austin, David was Acting Director for Community Benefits at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). In that role, he managed the SFPUC's fifteen-member Community Benefits Division, influenced how the SFPUC incorporated social responsibility into its business practices, and supervised more than 30 programs across six Northern California counties. David also advised $17 million in community investments from SFPUC's private-sector contractors.

Prior to directing Community Benefits at the SFPUC, David held positions as Chief of Staff for the City of Richmond, CA Mayor's Office; Director of Projects and Programs for the City of Richmond, CA Mayor's Office; and Poverty to Opportunity Project Coordinator for the Louisiana Budget Project. He earned his Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley and his Bachelor’s degrees in social policy, urban studies, and sociology from Tulane University.