Mayor Michael B. Hancock recently announced his appointment of Jen Morris as executive director of Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO). As Executive Director, Morris will oversee the city’s work to lead an inclusive and innovative economy for all Denver residents and businesses by supporting local and global business development, workforce development programs and stabilization efforts in diverse neighborhoods.
“Over these last two years, our economic development team has been on the ground working together with local businesses and our community to keep our economy going, businesses’ doors open and workers on the job. Jen has been spearheading those efforts and has positioned DEDO to drive our recovery forward,” Mayor Hancock said. “I’m proud to appoint her to this position and know she will do a phenomenal job positioning Denver to grow and thrive in a more equitable economic environment.”
Morris, who will be the first woman appointed to lead the office, currently serves as the interim Executive Director of DEDO, a position she’s held since November of 2021. Prior to being named interim Executive Director, Morris served as Director of Marketing, Communications and Government Affairs for the office beginning in 2018, before being named Chief of Staff in February 2020. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Morris has led teams in developing and implementing emergency relief programs to support the businesses and residents of Denver. She helped lead the Mayor’s Economic Relief & Recovery Council and continues to provide oversight for and policy leadership on economic recovery efforts outlined in the city’s recovery plan, RISE Denver – Rebuilding for an Inclusive and Sustainable Economy.
“Denver has all of the tools in place to regain the momentum we had before the pandemic hit us two years ago, and I’m honored to be appointed to this role by Mayor Hancock and grateful for this opportunity to lead one of the most dynamic teams in the city,” Morris said. “We are well-positioned to recover in a way that’s more equitable for all Denver residents, and I’m excited to continue to move this work forward, and position our community to come back better and stronger than before.”
Morris has nearly 25 years of experience in communications and marketing spanning the corporate, nonprofit and public sectors. Prior to joining DEDO, she was the vice president of Marketing & Communications for Mile High United Way, and led their overall marketing and communications strategy. She was also a member of a select group of thirty marketing executives across the 1,800 global United Way chapters to help lead the global marketing strategy for the United Way brand. Jen’s experience also includes 13 years in San Francisco, most recently as the director of Marketing and Communications for the Contemporary Jewish Museum, where she oversaw all marketing and communications efforts, visitor services, as well as the development of the Museum’s facility rental program, resulting in over $200,000 in revenue in its initial year. Before joining the nonprofit world, she worked in high-tech advertising, managing multi-million-dollar international media buys for companies including Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, Nokia and Microsoft.