About Tracy A. Corley
Since 1994, I have been helping businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations develop creative and forward-thinking approaches to change and growth. I have served as a business leader and policy entrepreneur in Seattle, Washington and Greenville, South Carolina, focused on the issues of sustainability, economic development, small business development, and urban/regional policy. I currently live in Boston, Massachusetts, where I offer strategy, planning, research, and evaluation consulting services for businesses, governments, and nonprofits. 

I am committed to helping individuals and organizations set a vision for what is possible and facilitate achieving it. Regardless of their interests and challenges, I help my clients see the big picture and understand the details so that they make that picture of the future real. Your vision and success are my inspiration. 

My diverse background helps me understand the multiple criteria that community, civic, and business leaders must face when dealing with complex issues. From designing award-winning buildings as an architect; to advising municipal, state, and national leaders on policy and strategy; to nearly two decades of delivering strategy, planning, research, and communications through consulting and public speaking, I've learned and experienced lots about the need for verifiable data and executable plans in business and government. Even while running a research company or pursuing a Ph.D. in Law and Public Policy, I'm always building my skills, capabilities, and network so that my clients get the interdisciplinary expertise they need. With me, you don't just get a hammer: you get access to an entire toolbox to tackle any product, policy, or program challenge.

Visit my LinkedIn page to learn more about my speaking experience, publications, and affiliations.

Recent Results

  • Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy Graduate Researcher, August 2013 to August 2014
    Work with the professional research team as part of a "think and do" tank that addresses economic development, sustainability, and resiliency issues across the globe. Conducted primary and secondary mixed methods and quantitative research, analyzed data, wrote detailed economic development reports, assisted town meetings and community workshops, and represented the team at international summits.
  • Seattle Jobs Initiative Planning and Strategic Advisor, January 2013 to July 2013
    Strengthened channels for education and employment opportunities for the low-skilled, low-income citizens through regional and national workforce policy and systemic change initiatives. Served the SJI team on a short-term contract, during which I relied heavily on sophisticated data sharing, data analysis, and program evaluation to deliver program results. Worked closely with staff and external partners to provide strategic planning, process improvements, tool development, budget preparation, analysis, reporting, and stakeholder feedback for multiple programs. Oversaw outreach and recruitment efforts, convened many groups of system-wide stakeholders and managed a program that helped men of color with conviction histories re-enter the workforce.
  • Office of Governor Christine Gregoire Small Business Development Advisor, 2007 to 2012 
    Represented small business interests in special committees, in press conferences, and during international study missions, advising the economic development team on policies and programs to improve the climate for business development and growth among small and mid-sized enterprises. Also served as the small business representative to the Washington State Small Business Credit Initiative advisory committee and worked collaboratively to leverage federal small business credit funding.
  • Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County (formerly enterpriseSeattle) Pitch Clinic Program Development and International Study Mission Delegate, 2008 to 2012
    Designed and developed a pitch clinic program to help small businesses create business plans and secure investment funding. Also participated in multiple study missions representing small business interests in Washington State and the Puget Sound region.
  • Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Research Consultant, June 2011 to March 2012 
    Led and managed 15-person team that researched the written and webcast reports for a market update that impacted local and national market actors and policies. Co-authored and co-presented the reports with the quantitative data lead.
  • Northwest Resource Associates Organizational Consultant and Executive Coach, 2009 to 2012 
    Conducted organizational assessments, provided executive coaching, and delivered a strategic plan to reduce operational costs by 30 percent Advised on management issues across its seven offices, and coached key team members during critical staffing decisions and budget cuts resulting from 50 percent reduction in operating revenues. Facilitated emergency team planning event, resulting in a mission-driven action plan for the 2012-2013 fiscal year that accommodated the additional budget reduction of 30 percent without layoffs.
  • Jimale Technical Services Business Planning Consultant and Executive Coach, 2009 to 2012 
    Conducted organizational assessment, provided executive coaching, and developed a strategic framework, business model map, and action plan that reduced expenses by 40 percent in the first two years, doubled revenues over two years and increased profit margins by a factor of four. Revamped financial department through strategic hires and new processes. Improved operations through the development of new systems and accountability measures. Transitioned most of the IT infrastructure to cloud computing through a comprehensive technology plan.
  • Metropolitan Seattle Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair of Small Business, Board of Trustees, 2007 to 2011 
    Conceived and led small business initiatives to improve competitiveness, resilience, and sustainability of small and mid-sized enterprises in Washington State. Introduced programs like the Opportunity Exchange to put small firms in front of corporate buyers and decision makers, and the At the Table Program to connect young professionals with Northwest industry and civic leaders. Led business development efforts for the Clean Tech Committee, introducing engagement strategies and success measures to help small and medium enterprises in clean tech.
  • City of Seattle Strategy and Communications Consultant, 2005 to 2011 
    Designed and delivered for public outreach initiatives and economic development programs in various departments, including communications that resulted in $25m+ in funding to area small businesses.
  • City of Seattle Office of Economic Development Healthy Foods Here Program Designer/Instructor, 2010 
    Designed and delivered communications training program for community-based organizations to help them build participation in a program that introduced fresh and healthy foods into small, inner-city neighborhood grocery stores.
  • Port Jobs (Port of Seattle) Business Planning, Strategic Development, and Design Consultant, 2005 to 2009 
    Developed strategy, business plan, and communications that turned financial training programs into self-sustaining, revenue-generating offerings worth more than $8 million.

Teaching Experience

  • Northeastern University Teaching Assistant, September 2014 to April 2016
    Served as a teaching assistant for Introduction to Law, Policy and Society (undergraduate), Techniques of Policy Analysis (graduate), and Nonprofit Organizations and Social Change (graduate).
  • Harvard University Guest Lecturer, September 2015
    Presented research findings from Germany for course Informal Economy: Is Formalization the Answer?
  • Bellevue College Adjunct Faculty, November 2010 to May 2011
    Taught Communication for Sustainable Business Practices for the sustainable business degree program.
  • University of Washington Guest Lecturer and Workshop Facilitator, Business and Economic Development Center, Michael G. Foster School of Business 2004 to 2009
  • Seattle University, Guest Lecturer, MBA program, 2004 to 2008
  • Washington State University Portfolio Judge, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, 2007 to 2009
  • North Seattle Community College Adjunct Faculty, August 1999 to May 2002
    Taught various continuing education courses in topics of marketing, business development, sales, and strategy, including my Shameless You! program. Also taught technical courses in using Adobe Pagemaker, Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Adobe Photoshop, and more.
  • Greenville Technical College Adjunct Faculty, January to May 1997
    Taught design and desktop publishing course using Quark XPress and Pagemaker for the graphic design A.A.  program.


  • Recipient of 2016-2017 German Academic Exchange Service Research Grant
  • 2016 Fulbright Scholar Alternate (Germany)
  • Recipient of the 2013 Diversity Fellowship, Northeastern University
  • 2013 Fulbright Scholar Finalist (Germany)
  • Recipient of the 2007 Jeri McDonald Community Service Award
  • Recipient of the 2006 Washington Mutual Top Supplier Award
  • Placed ninth in the Puget Sound Business Journal's Fastest Growing Minority-Owned Business Ranking, 2005
  • 2002 City of Seattle Mayor's Small Business Award Finalist
  • Winner of AIA First Place Award for a 1995 design-build project