DETROIT – Hassan Beydoun has been appointed group executive of economic development by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, with a remit to establish Detroit as a hub for innovators and start-up entrepreneurs. Beydoun, who previously served as senior advisor and counsel to the mayor, will lead the Jobs and Economy Team’s efforts to grow Detroit’s economy. He replaces Nicole Sherard-Freeman, who recently left the administration to become COO of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. In his new role, Beydoun will focus on making Detroit the most friendly city for start-up entrepreneurs by streamlining complex regulations and processes to remove barriers to innovation.
In his new role, Beydoun will focus on establishing Detroit as a magnet for innovators and other start-up entrepreneurs.
Mayor Duggan believes that Beydoun’s legal and policy skills will add a new dimension to the city’s economic growth. He commended Beydoun for his process improvement skills and passion for supporting and cultivating entrepreneurs. Beydoun’s understanding of what start-up businesses need to be successful, which he attributes to the entrepreneurial experience in his family, will be beneficial in his new role.
Beydoun has expressed concerns about the city’s complex web of regulations, which he believes often constrain and overburden enterprise. He envisions a reform of these policies and processes to better support a changing economy where businesses can thrive. Beydoun’s aim is to make Detroit the world’s premier innovation economy by building a more cohesive citywide ecosystem that fosters success and equitable change for the community.
Born and raised in Detroit, Beydoun has a longstanding commitment to the city. He has served as Mayor Duggan’s legal counsel and senior advisor since his appointment in 2021 and has driven and advised on major initiatives, including the Transportation Innovation Zone around Michigan Central and the Joe Louis Greenway and Blight to Beauty. He has also been the city’s lead advocate for its interests and legislative agenda in Lansing.
Before joining the Duggan administration, Beydoun was general counsel to the Michigan House of Representatives, where he played a key role in the passage of auto no-fault reform legislation, mobility innovation acceleration and the expansion of expungement laws. He also played a role in the legislative components of Detroit’s Grand Bargain and Financial Review Commission, helping to set the stage for the city’s exit from bankruptcy and state oversight. Beydoun earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Wayne State University and graduated with special honors from the University of Iowa College of Law.