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Bill Generett, who announced he would be stepping down as President of Urban Innovation21 in April, has been named Duquesne University’s new vice president for Community Engagement.

While he said he is honored and excited about the opportunity to bolster the university’s ongoing community involvement efforts, perhaps the best part of the job is, he doesn’t have to leave town.

“I was this close to going to Erie, and while that would have been a great opportunity, I get to stay here, and take this position. I feel very blessed,” he told the New Pittsburgh Courier.

“Duquesne is a Spiritan institution and has the moral underpinning for true community engagement. That’s important because this work is here to stay, and really, Duquesne’s been doing this since its founding—committing itself to positively impacting the community and the region.”

Duquesne University President Ken Gormley said he wants to do even more—and Generett is just the man to help do it. “An essential part of the University’s new strategic plan, that will be finalized soon, is a vision for expanding and enhancing the University’s community engagement efforts,” Gormley said in a July 31 press announcement.

“Bill Generett is a highly-recognized civic leader with a distinguished career in community and economic development. His expertise, community connections and passion for improving our region will help to make this vision a reality.”

For Generett, who has been Urban Innovation21’s president and CEO since it was founded as the state’s first Keystone Opportunity Zone for economic development in 2007, the move kind of brings him full circle, because, along with the Hill House Economic Development Association and UPMC, Duquesne University was one of the KOZ’s founders.

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