Board of Directors Welcomes President of NEO’s Largest University

Todd Diacon of Kent State University joins Team NEO board

The board of directors of Team NEO has appointed Kent State University President Dr. Todd Diacon to the organization’s board. Dr. Diacon brings specialized knowledge that will help Team NEO and its economic development partners address the workforce gap affecting the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio.

“Our annual Aligning Opportunities in Northeast Ohio report points to a need for our region to develop, and improve accessibility to, higher education and job training programs with the potential to bridge the gap between workforce needs and available talent. Dr. Diacon brings remarkable firsthand knowledge and keen insights to this challenge,” said Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler.

Dr. Diacon joins other esteemed higher education administrators on the board: Lorain County Community College President Dr. Marcia Ballinger and Past President Dr. Roy Church, and Cuyahoga Community College President Dr. Alex Johnson. Together, these leaders create a vital connection to educational resources and thought leadership across Northeast Ohio.

“Having a strong academic presence on the board is a real plus for us as we strive to bolster our region’s talent pool and strengthen the collaborations between industry and education,” said Team NEO Board Chairwoman Dr. Jodi Berg, president and CEO of Vitamix. “We look forward to Dr. Diacon’s fresh perspectives and the collective insights he and his board peers will bring to our discussions.”

About Todd Diacon

Kent State University President Dr. Todd Diacon

Todd Diacon became Kent State University’s 13th president in July 2019. A tireless advocate for student success, President Diacon has more than 30 years of experience in higher education leadership.

His commitment to college affordability and access have resulted in nationally recognized initiatives to boost student retention, graduation rates and academic achievement.

President Diacon joined Kent State as provost in 2012 and has been at the forefront of expanding Kent State’s international presence, has led the charge to recruit and promote more diverse faculty, and has helped the university attract world-renowned leaders in the fields of aviation, engineering, brain health, liquid crystals and peace and conflict studies.

Before coming to Kent State, President Diacon served as deputy chancellor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he also was a professor of history. He began his career at the University of Tennessee as a history professor and moved up the ranks to vice provost for academic operations and executive director for academic assessment and program support.

A native of Wellington, Kansas, Dr. Diacon specializes in agrarian history and the history of central state power in Brazil. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern College in Kansas and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He has authored publications on student success and the administration of higher education, and he has written numerous journal articles and two books, including Stringing Together a Nation which won the 2005 Warren Dean Prize for the most significant book on Brazilian history.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in Northeast Ohio’s 18-county region; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market Northeast Ohio as a region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people.