Webinar: Global Cities Initiative



Global Cities Initiative


David A. Balos, Chase

Jorge Fernandez, Pendleton Group Atlanta

Marek Gootman, Brookings Institute

Moderated by: 

Jacobus F. Boers, Georgia State University


Webinar recording from October 8, 2020


Cities and surrounding regional assets are becoming focal points for driving global competitiveness. Scholars and companies increasingly use cities and metropolitan areas as the unit of analysis in research and making investment and expansion decisions. In response, metropolitan areas and cities around the world are increasingly recognized as key engines of economic growth. As a result, mapping and assessing these assets is fundamental to understanding an important trend in business, research and developing a winning economic development strategy.

Over the past five years, cities competed for the opportunity to participate in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, where they could cooperate globally and develop plans to positively affect economic growth.

This webinar will feature panelists including Marek Gootman with the Brookings Institute and David A. Balos with Chase as well as Jorge Fernandez with the Pendleton Group, who successfully led Atlanta through each competitive round of the GCI. Moderated by Jacobus F. Boers with Georgia State University, the panel discussion will explore the GCI, the public-private partnership that make it successful, and share Atlanta’s efforts in the context of the GCI.



About the Speakers

David A. Balos

Vice Chair & Managing Director, Georgia & Alabama Middle Market Commercial Banking
David Balos leads the JPMorgan Chase middle market banking team in Georgia and Alabama.


Jorge Fernandez

Pendleton Group Atlanta

Jorge Fernandez is a consultant at a leading group of dedicated professionals on economic and business development. He formerly led the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce global economic and business development in areas such as FDI, exports, targeted global initiatives for cybersecurity, IoT, logistics, healthcare and the entertainment industries. In 2013, he completed a teaching special assignment on international business development at China Jiliang University in Hangzhou, China. His professional career also includes experience as a pilot and in airline operations and business. Additionally, he has experience in international affairs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Israel, and Latin America.


Marek Gootman

Senior Fellow
Brookings Institute

Marek Gootman is a Senior Fellow with Brookings Institute. He helps US and international business, government, and civic leaders solve problems and collaborate to strengthen the vitality and competitiveness of city-regions through strategies, tactics, and private-public action.


Jacobus F. Boers

Assistant Dean for International Engagement
Senior Lecturer in International Business
J.Mack Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University

Jacobus F. Boers is a professor in GSU’s Institute of International Business with areas of expertise in emerging markets; market entry strategies and tactics in the technology sector; and small/medium-sized enterprises in international business. He brings the practical experience of a successful international business career to the classroom, where he combines the lessons of research, theory and practice.   A master teacher, he has completed certificates in teaching online and blended formats from the GSU-CETL and AASCB.

He serves as assistant dean for international engagement in the Robinson College of Business, where he oversees exchange and study abroad programs, institutional partnerships and international experiential learning efforts.  In addition to his teaching and administrative role, Jacobus has the led directed study abroad programs to South Africa, India and the United Arab Emirates and China, focusing on the global elements of business while addressing both disciplinary rigor and intercultural experiential learning.

Boers has served as CIBER’s coordinator for instructional technologies assisting with all types of instructional technology, helping disseminate pedagogical resources for teaching international business, and sharing his teaching expertise by speaking in workshops, conferences and events.  He specializes in the use of technology by teams collaborating across distance and borders to solve difficult business problems, manage people and lead organizations.

Prior to joining GSU in 2007, Jacobus maintained a consulting practice providing management consulting services to a broad range of clients on the selection of appropriate international markets strategies, developing market entry and direct investment plans, and operational implementation of plans. He has served as chairman of the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia and the Georgia Council for International Visitors.  He continues to be active in the metro Atlanta business community, engaging in the growth of the city and state’s global business networks.  He frequently speaks in public on topics ranging from international career opportunities for young professionals to the role of education in global competitiveness or on Africa, a topic close to his heart.




The International Business Webinar Series is a project of the national CIBER Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Consortium, led by Georgia State University CIBER and sponsored by CIBERs at Florida International University, George Washington University, Indiana University, Loyola Marymount University, Michigan State University, Temple University, Texas A&M University, University of Colorado-Denver, and the University of Maryland. This program is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education.



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