Skip to main content
Light String

Keynote Speaker Info

Keith Stokes

Executive Director, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation

Keith Stokes

Keith W. Stokes was appointed in January 2010 to the position of Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. He is Chairman of the Board of the Quonset Development Corporation, as well as the Slater Technology Fund. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Stokes served as Board member and Treasurer of the RI Economic Development Corporation and as a Board member of the Quonset Development Corporation.

Mr. Stokes was the Executive Director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce for over 15 years. Prior to his success at the Chamber, he worked as Senior Policy Advisor to Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun, Executive Director of the Omni Development Corporation, and Senior Policy Advisor to the Rhode Island General Treasurer. Mr. Stokes is also a frequent national, state and local lecturer in community and regional planning, historic preservation and interpretation with an expertise in early African and Jewish American history.

Mr. Stokes is a native of Newport, Rhode Island. He was educated at Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Quill & Dagger Honor Society) and the University of Chicago with a Master's Degree. Mr. Stokes has a diverse professional background including business, community planning, historic preservation, and government. He has served his community in many capacities - including as a three-term Newport City Councilman. Mr. Stokes and his wife Theresa have four children.

His local, state, and national directorships include:

  • Past President - Board of Directors - Touro Synagogue Foundation
  • Past Vice-President & Trustee - Preservation Society of Newport County
  • Advisor (Rhode Island) - National Trust For Historic Preservation
  • Past Vice Chair - Newport Redevelopment Agency
  • Board of Directors - Rhode Island Foundation

His local, state and national awards include:

  • Daughters of the American Revolution - Excellence in Community Service Award
  • Rhode Island Council for the Humanities - Creative Achievement in the Humanities Award
  • Newport County NAACP - Community Leadership & Appreciation Award
  • Omni Development Corporation Affordable Housing, Community Development & Preservation Award
  • United State Small Business Administration - Rhode Island Small Business Advocate of the Year Award
  • American Sail Training Association - Leadership Award
  • Rhode Island African Alliance Leadership Award

Poster Presentation