Arnold Weinfeld is director of Urban Policy Initiatives. In this capacity he works collaboratively with the Center for Community and Economic Development and serves as a connector and boundary spanner, working with MSU faculty, community partners, and agencies to develop university-community partnerships focused on urban and systems change. He participates in and leads community-engaged research and evaluation projects working to promote community based participatory research models of practice. As associate director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR), Weinfeld also works to cross boundaries and connect directly with IPPSR’s 60-plus affiliated faculty, student fellows, newly established training programs, and state policy research programs.
Prior to joining UOE, he served as CEO of Prima Civitas, a community and economic development nonprofit organization. He also spent many years with the Michigan Municipal League (MML), where as director of strategic initiatives he was responsible for the planning and development of new programs and outreach strategies to support place-based policy initiatives and programming for local officials across the state. He worked to establish the MML Center for 21st Century Communities and was a founding co-chair of the Michigan Sense of Place Council, a public-private statewide collaborative of trade groups working to improve the quality of life for Michigan’s citizens by promoting the creation of vibrant communities, and in so doing, make Michigan competitive in the new global economy.
Weinfeld began his career with the Michigan House of Representatives, where he worked as a legislative aide, policy analyst, and policy director. He has served his own community as an elected member of the Waverly Community Schools Board of Education, holding the positions of treasurer and president, and is currently a planning commissioner. He is also on the boards of statewide organizations such as the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, Michigan Rural Council, and Creative Many Michigan. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University’s College of Social Science multi-disciplinary program.