Skip to main content

Greater Houston Partnership Announces Craig Rhodes to Lead Economic Development Efforts

Published May 01, 2024 by Brina Morales

Headshot of Craig Rhodes, Sr. Vice President of Economic Development

Craig Rhodes, Sr. Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Houston Partnership

HOUSTON (May 1, 2024) – The Greater Houston Partnership has promoted Craig Rhodes, an 18-year economic development veteran, as its new Senior Vice President, Economic Development. Rhodes has been with the Partnership for 12 years, most recently as Vice President, Regional Economic Development. 

In this new role, Rhodes will lead domestic and international economic development and trade efforts for the Partnership, reporting directly to President and CEO Steve Kean. 

Since 2020, Rhodes has led the Partnership’s regional economic development team, resulting in 69 regional expansion and relocation projects creating more than 13,000 and retaining more than 6,000 jobs with capital expenditures of $4.3B.

“In my time at the Partnership I have been impressed with our domestic and international economic development work and especially with Craig’s leadership, strategic thinking, and execution,” said Steve Kean, President and CEO of the Partnership. “I’m confident he will lead our economic development efforts at the Partnership well and continue the great work with our regional economic development partners through the Houston Region Economic Development Alliance (HREDA).  The HREDA effort in particular, is a hallmark of Craig’s collaborative style and is a great demonstration of the “power of together” that we display every day in the Greater Houston area.”

Rhodes was part of the Partnership’s economic development team from 2006-2014. From 2014-2020, he worked on the economic development team at CenterPoint Energy, supporting new growth across the greater Houston region. Rhodes returned to the Partnership in 2020.

He served as Chair of the Houston Regional Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) from 2017-2022 and expanded the scope of HREDA for the betterment of the 12-county Houston region. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Economic Development Council and the Utility Economic Development Association. He is an active member of the International Economic Development Council and has held numerous Board and leadership roles in economic development across the Houston area. 

Rhodes received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001 and earned his Certified Economic Development, CEcD, certification from the International Economic Development Council in 2015. He and his wife Kristi have three children.  

Related News

Economic Development

Houston Astros’ Entertainment District to Drive Significant Economic Growth

7/19/24
The Houston Astros are set to bolster their role as a major economic driver for the city with a new mixed-use district.   The district, which will feature a 17-story, 300-room hotel and 60,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space adjacent to Minute Maid Park, is expected to generate $5.7 billion in economic impact over 20 years, according to the Houston Business Journal. Announced last year, the project is part of a larger initiative to transform downtown into a premier entertainment destination like those around other MLB ballparks such as The Battery Atlanta and Ballpark Village in St. Louis.  Click to expand The project also includes plans for a three-story building that will serve as a gathering space for game day watch parties and live music events. The space will feature a large outdoor screen where fans can watch the Astros and other Houston teams such as the Texans and Rockets, as well as other major sporting events. It will also be enclosed by glass windows overlooking the ballpark that can open during pleasant weather.  "Our goal is it's an attractive area year-round, not just on game days, and it'll be a really great, happening venue," said Giles Kibbe, the Astros' senior vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "If you want to go to a public place to watch a sporting event, this is going to be the spot to go to."  Hines, the Houston real estate firm responsible for the Toyota Center, will develop the district. Meanwhile, Dallas-based HKS Architects, known for designing the Texas Rangers' Globe Life Field, is creating the master plan for the project. Construction on the district is expected to begin in 2025 and span three years, with an estimated cost of $327 million.  This significant investment comes as Houston's growing prominence as an international sports city takes center stage, highlighted by its success in securing major sporting events such as the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2025, 2027 and 2031 AAU Junior Olympic Games. The district will further strengthen the city’s reputation as an entertainment destination, drawing even more visitors downtown.   Learn more about living in Houston.  
Read More
Economic Development

Houston Remains Top Texas City in New National Ranking

6/27/24
Houston has once again topped the rankings of an annual list of America’s Best Cities, claiming first in the state and No. 10 in the nation, surpassing Dallas and Austin.  The report, compiled by international consulting firm Resonance, ranks cities with a population of more than 500,000 based on livability, lovability and prosperity. The Bayou City has consistently ranked high on Resonance’s list over the years, placing No. 9 in 2023 and No. 11 in 2022, drawing praise for its cultural diversity, award-winning restaurant scene, number of Fortune 500 companies and quality of life.  Houston’s population gains can be attributed to its quality of life and strong economy. According to a Greater Houston Partnership analysis, Houston added nearly 140,000 residents in 2023, marking the second highest population growth among U.S. metros.  “Austin may get the attention, but the promise of the Lone Star State drawing Californians and New Yorkers is quietly being fulfilled in Houston,” the report stated.  This year’s report again recognizes Houston as one of the most diverse cities in the nation, with one in four residents being foreign-born and over 145 languages spoken, earning it the No. 21 spot in the report’s Culture category. The report also highlights the city's wealth of international festivals, world-class museums and cultural centers, including the new Ismaili Center set to open next year.  Houston’s dining scene ranked fourth in the report’s restaurant subcategory, ahead of popular foodie destinations including San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami. The city earned acclaim for its diverse blend of dishes, described in the report as “Southern Soul and barbecue with Mexican that’s then seasoned with global cuisine.” Earlier this year, 11 Houston restaurants and chefs were named semifinalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards.   The report also applauded Houston’s robust economy, ranking No. 3 in the country for the number of Fortune 500 companies and patents. Houston is home to 26 Fortune 500 companies, making it the third-largest hub for Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation. As a hub for business development and opportunity, Houston was also recently named the best city to grow a business, according to a new study by The RevOps Team.  Additionally, Resonance recognized the Bayou City for its leadership in the global energy transition, with an estimated $250 billion in potential investment in the region over the next 15 years, according to a recent McKinsey report. The report also highlighted Houston’s reputation as Space City, noting key facilities and investments such as the Houston Spaceport, which is anchored by NASA-contract-winning companies Axiom Space, Collins Aerospace and Intuitive Machines.  Learn more about living in Houston.  
Read More

Related Events

Economic Development

Regions featuring Greenspoint

Greenspoint, often referred to as the "North Houston District," is home to several large corporate offices, hospitality venues, and green spaces, including parks and recreational facilities. Despite recent economic…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners