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Mayor Duggan announces appointment of Hassan Beydoun as new Group Executive of Economic Development

  • In his new role, Beydoun's will focus on establishing Detroit as a magnet for innovators and other start-up entrepreneurs.
  • Previously served as Senior Advisor and Counsel to the Mayor

Mayor Mike Duggan today announced that he has appointed Hassan Beydoun as his Group Executive of Economic Development, where he will lead the Jobs and Economy Team’s efforts to grow Detroit’s economy. Beydoun previously served as Senior Advisor and Counsel to the Mayor. 

Beydoun replaces Nicole Sherard-Freeman, who served as Group Executive for Jobs, Economy and Detroit at Work and recently left the administration to become the new COO of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.   Last month, Mayor Duggan announced the appointment of Terri Weems as Group Executive of Workforce and Detroit at Work, which previously had also fallen under Sherard-Freeman.  

In addition to continuing the City's recent success attracting major employers in his new role, Beydoun will focus heavily on making Detroit the most friendly city in the country for innovators and start-up entrepreneurs.  That will include helping streamline the city's complex web of regulations and permitting and approval processes to remove barriers to innovation. 

"Detroit always has had innovation in its DNA.  Hassan has a gift for process improvement and a passion for supporting and cultivating entrepreneurs trying new things," said Mayor Duggan. "His legal and policy skillset is going to add an entirely new dimension to our efforts to grow our city's economy and create more opportunity." 

Beydoun said that the knowledge he gained from his father and other entrepreneurs in his family have helped him to understand what up-start businesses need to be successful.

“I come from a long line of entrepreneurs, and I learned a lot watching my immigrant father grow from an employee to an employer, and since then have interacted with countless innovators, creators, and collaborators in and beyond Detroit. Many complain of barriers they run into when scaling their business and navigating the city’s overly complex web of regulations, institutions, and stakeholders” said Beydoun.

“Our policies and processes that too often constrain and overladen enterprise can be reformed to reflect and support a changing economy in which businesses can thrive. Detroit is already one of the fastest growing hubs for start-ups in the country, but it has the potential to be the world’s premier innovation economy. My goal is to achieve that by building a more cohesive citywide ecosystem that drives success and equitable change for the community.”

Detroit native

Born in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood and raised in the Aviation Subdivision, Beydoun has served as Mayor Duggan’s legal counsel and senior advisor. Since his appointment in 2021, he has driven and advised on major initiatives ranging from the Transportation Innovation Zone around Michigan Central to the Joe Louis Greenway and Blight to Beauty. He has also been the lead advocate for the city’s interests and legislative agenda in Lansing.

Prior to joining the Duggan Administration, Beydoun served as the General Counsel to the Michigan House of Representatives. In that role Beydoun was instrumental in the passage of auto no-fault reform legislation, as well as in eliminating driver responsibility fees, accelerating mobility innovation, and expanding expungement laws. He was also involved in the legislative components of Detroit’s Grand Bargain and Financial Review Commission that set the stage for the city’s exit from bankruptcy and state oversight. Beydoun has also served as chief counsel for the Legislature’s regulatory oversight bodies and in several investigations, including the Flint water crisis.

Beydoun earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Wayne State University before graduating with special honors and distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Hassan Beydoun pic
Hassan Beydoun is appointed as Group Executive of Economic Development for Mayor Duggan at the City of Detroit.