About CREC

The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization founded to provide policy-makers from around the world with the information and technical assistance they need to formulate and execute innovative, regional, job-creating economic strategies.

Our staff members come from around the globe, bringing with them diverse backgrounds, and world-class skill sets.

CREC staff

Brendan Buff
Program Manager


Mr. Buff serves as a Program Manager at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), performing association management and economic development research duties. He manages the operations of the Association of Public Data Users (APDU), and several committees for the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). Using CREC’s approach to analysis, he creates a data-driven appreciation for regional economies; and he facilitates meetings between economic developers and researchers so that they can better gather and analyze data.

During his time managing APDU, Mr. Buff has provided customer service to members, planning for the annual conference, organizing webinars, and writing a weekly newsletter. Mr. Buff also led the development of the APDU’s first training course, Data Viz Made Simple.

Recently, Mr. Buff contributed to the evaluation of the Appalachian Regional Commission to commemorate their 50th anniversary, titled Appalachia Then and Now: Examining Changes to the Appalachian Region since 1965. This work involved conducting focus groups with local organizations to identify qualitative impacts of ARC investments. He has conducted site visits and written case studies on ARC programs in Ohio, Alabama, and Maryland. In addition, he has performed a literature review on resources for entrepreneurs and innovators for the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Mr. Buff’s work with the Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment includes producing communications materials to grantees and managing the DIAHub, an online resource for Defense Industry Adjustment program grantees to share materials and network; organizing an annual convening of over 150 attendees; developing webinars for learning communities on a variety of topics; and conducting site visits to create program blueprints.

He also helps manage and update over 20 states for the C2ER State Business Incentives and the State Economic Development Expenditures databases. The Incentives database features information on state tax and program incentives categorized according to program category, program type, geographic focus, and business need. The Expenditures Database assesses total resources available for economic development activity across more than 15 functional areas and multiple funding sources using consistent funding categorizations.

In past projects, Mr. Buff assisted in the production of profiles of state lending programs for the State Small Business Credit Initiative. In addition, he assisted in the production of a working group report on state Capital Access Programs and a report on state program efforts on lending to underserved populations. Prior to joining the CREC team, Mr. Buff worked as an intern for a Member of Parliament in London, England, researched best practices in nonprofit capacity building for Dare Mighty Things, and wrote legislative advocacy materials on issues including asset limits, manufactured housing, and tax incentives for the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

Mr. Buff received a Master of Public Administration degree from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Michigan State University.

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