Thomas A. Stith, III, is program director for economic development for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. He leads the Institute’s economic development efforts with a specific emphasis on eastern North Carolina.
Stith focuses on the unique challenges facing North Carolina’s eastern region as it transitions from an agricultural-based economy to one that is poised to leverage its competitive advantages in the areas of renewable energy, defense contracting, aerospace, destination development, and the proliferation of high-growth companies within the region.
Stith’s career has included experience in policy-level public positions and Fortune 250 private-sector organizations along with several entrepreneurial ventures. He served on the Durham (N.C.) City Council for three consecutive terms. Stith’s unique combination of public and private-sector experience combined with practical political expertise provides him with the critical foundation needed to help Kenan Institute clients examine the myriad factors affecting their communities and develop strategies to achieve economic prosperity.
Stith earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees (with honors) from North Carolina Central University.