Ze Min Xiao to Lead EDCUtah’s Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging

May 12, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY (May 12, 2021)—The Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) is pleased to announce that Ze Min Xiao has accepted the position of director of the newly formed Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging.

Until recently, Xiao served as director of the Mayor’s Office for New Americans at Salt Lake County. She is a Fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Utah, and a Master of Art in Community Leadership from Westminster College. Among a host of other volunteer activities, she serves as co-chair of the Multicultural Advisory Committee of Utah’s Covid-19 Response.

The Center will serve as the private sector commitment to work alongside government and communities of color to advance the principles outlined in the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The Center will focus on advancing economic equity and strengthening community cohesiveness by fostering an environment of belonging for all Utahns.

“Creating an environment where everyone, including individuals who are most impacted by disparities, can be participatory architects of their future is a key ingredient to building an equitable, welcoming, and cohesive community,” Xiao said. “The strength of our communities is our biggest asset.  I am honored to have the opportunity to be a convener, a facilitator and a scriber of a Utah’s roadmap."

The Center is housed within the newly formed Economic Development Corporation of Utah Foundation, (501(c)(3) status pending) and has received financial commitments from various local and national philanthropic and charitable organizations. Funding for the EDCUtah Foundation is separate from investor support of EDCUtah’s longstanding 501(c)(6).

“We are thrilled to have ‘Zee’ join our team. The formation of the Center directly supports the EDCUtah vision of a quality job for every aspiring Utahn,” said Theresa A. Foxley, president and CEO of EDCUtah. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not only aspirational goals for our stakeholders and clients, they are also among the top issues impacting site selection decisions nationwide. This effort is not only the right thing to do, it has become a business imperative.”

“The Center will activate the Utah Compact’s idea of ‘nothing about us, without us’, proactively bringing more diverse voices into building economic opportunity in Utah,” said Tom Morgan, EDCUtah Board Chair and EVP at Zions Bank. “We’re proud to have Zee as the first employee of the new EDCUtah Foundation, and know that under her leadership, the Center will help improve economic outcomes for more Utahns.”

If you would like to learn more about how to support the Center through EDCUtah Foundation, please reach out to chief financial officer Jill Kirsling at

Jill Kirsling

Head of Finance
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