Skip to Main Content
About Us

George W. Jackson, Jr

President & CEO

George W. Jackson, Jr. has led a distinguished career in both the private and public sectors. During a 27-year career at DTE Energy, Jackson rose to the position of director of customer marketing. Areas reporting to him included Economic Development, Strategic Marketing Processes, Product Development, Program Management, Customer Research and Information and Ethnic Marketing.

During his tenure, DTE’s economic development department was one of the largest private sector groups of its kind in the country, and it won national recognition for its work.

George W. Jackson, JR - GWJ Group - G

George W. Jackson, JR - GWJ Group - vertical-side-three

Jackson moved from the private to the public sector, first as a loaned executive from DTE Energy, then as full-time president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). DEGC is a private, nonprofit corporation devoted exclusively to supporting Detroit’s economic development projects and initiatives by providing technical, financial and development assistance to the City and the business community. During Jackson’s tenure as CEO, DEGC played a leadership role in the revitalization of Downtown Detroit as a center for entertainment, sports, and creative businesses, as well as a residential neighborhood for people who wanted to be a part of the vibrant urban environment. Deals that Jackson’s team negotiated saved the historic Book Cadillac Hotel and turned it into the destination-worthy Detroit Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, brought Quicken Loans and investor Dan Gilbert into Detroit, consolidated several thousand jobs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and kept General Motors world headquarters in the city. Jackson’s team led efforts to bring a very successful Whole Foods Market to Midtown Detroit and a Meijer superstore to a Gateway Marketplace, Detroit’s largest shopping center investment in more than forty years.

During the same period, DEGC also had leadership roles in the transformation of the Detroit Riverfront from industrial lands to a mixture of recreational uses, residences, and mixed-use development, and led citywide efforts for neighborhood and small business revitalization through innovative programs. Jackson’s economic development expertise has also served other parts of Michigan beyond Detroit’s boundaries. He has served as an advisor to corporate, political, government, community, civic and educational executives and leaders on economic development issues.


  • 2016 50 Names to Know: Real Estate, listed – Crain’s Detroit
  • 2009 Revitalization of the City Award – Friends School in Detroit
  • 2007 CEO of the Year - Automation Alley
  • 2006 Detroiter of the Year – Hour Magazine
Back to Principals