Steinfeld appointed to new Providence director of strategic partnerships and economic advancement role

PROVIDENCE – Jenn Steinfeld has been named Providence’s director of strategic partnerships and economic advancement, Mayor Jorge O. Elorza announced Monday.

Steinfeld, who will begin the newly-created position on Aug. 27, will be responsible for leading the city’s urban development innovation strategy, Elorza’s office said, and will be working with departments that contribute to Providence’s business development and retention efforts.

The city’s urban development strategy is designed to increase industry access to tech-oriented ecosystems, advanced research institutions, talent pools and distinct regional specializations, according to Ben Smith, the mayor’s office deputy director of communications. This involves prioritizing the city’s two innovation districts, the Jewelry District and another along the Woonasquatucket River Corridor, he said, and supporting the growth and development of those areas.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Jenn to City Hall to spearhead our urban innovation efforts and build upon our relationships both in Providence and outside of our city,” said Elorza in a statement. “Throughout her esteemed career, Jenn has brought stakeholders and policymakers together and bridged divides with collaborative, community-based outcomes. These skills make her a natural fit for this role.”

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Steinfeld most recently served as the social innovation and student development program manager for Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service.

“Mayor Elorza and I share the same passion for social justice and equity, and I’m excited to apply those subjects to my role with the city,” stated Steinfeld. “Through Mayor Elorza’s Urban Innovation Strategy, we will begin to think of new ways to expand Providence’s economy that will benefit all of our residents.”

According to the Providence Department of Human Resources, the position will work closely with outside entities, Providence-based institutions of higher learning and city departments to promote cross-collaboration between invested partners. The job description said that it pays between $95,000 and $110,00 annually.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. He can be reached at


  1. Another $100K position added to the roles of Providence City Hall. What is the real difference between this position and the role of the current Director of Economic Development? Other than, Stenfeld worked for Elorza’s campaign. Where does the funding for this additional position come from? Was the City Council aware of this new position? Was it posted formally? Or was it created just for her? Help me understand.