Marilyn Higgins is responsible for the Connective Corridor and Near West Side Initiative, two multimillion dollar urban redevelopment projects that serve as platforms for engaged, interdisciplinary scholarship at Syracuse University. She is a founder and principal architect of the Near West Side Initiative, Inc., a diverse nonprofit development corporation revitalizing one of the poorest census tracts in the nation. Ms. Higgins also leads a collaborative effort with the University, the County, and the City of Syracuse to create the Connective Corridor as a signature strip of innovative urban design linking University Hill with the arts and cultural venues of downtown Syracuse. Prior to her position at Syracuse University, Ms. Higgins was Vice President of Economic Development for National Grid where she was responsible for attracting new business investment and jobs into the Corporation’s 37-county, upstate New York service territory. Working collaboratively with federal, State, and local government officials and regional public and private development entities, Ms. Higgins provided leadership, strategy, and resources for the revitalization of upstate New York communities. She managed a multimillion dollar economic development fund and supervised a team of economic development professionals engaged in marketing, national and international business recruitment, site development, and community renewal. A native of Syracuse, Ms. Higgins has served as a board member and officer of more than 20 nonprofit and economic development organizations throughout upstate New York, including the Center for Economic Growth in Albany, the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership, and the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.