Eric Hiraga is the Executive Director of the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED), a position he assumed upon his appointment by Mayor Michael B. Hancock in August 2017. OED advances economic prosperity and mobility for the businesses, neighborhoods and residents of Denver by working to broaden the tax base, stimulate the growth of companies across the spectrum from startups to the city’s largest employers, increase the availability and affordability of housing, and develop a skilled workforce for our region’s employers.
Under Hiraga’s leadership, OED is expanding its work to open more international trade, global business development and foreign direct investment opportunities by establishing a robust trade program for the city. OED also works in concert with the goals of the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC), the ambitious plans for the National Western Center, and the expansion of commercial and industrial opportunities amid emerging aerotropolis development projects around Denver International Airport (DEN).
Hiraga previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff for DEN, a $1 billion operation with 35,000 employees. To better attract international business ventures and open access to global markets for Denver’s local businesses – large and small – Hiraga maintains a Senior Advisor role to the airport.
Hiraga received a B.S. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His academic credentials also include a Peace and Friendship Fellowship from the Japanese Ministry of Education, and Hiraga studied foreign relations at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. He was also awarded the German Marshall Memorial Fellowship, a leadership development program for emerging leaders in the United States and Europe.