Dr. Wallace Walrod

Chief Economic Advisor


Since 1997, Dr. Walrod has served as the Chief Economic Adviser for Orange County Business Council (OCBC). Under his leadership, projects have shaped innovative programs, strategies and policies in the region. In his role, he also serves as the founding President of the Center for a New California where projects and reports focus on workforce development, economic development, infrastructure, and emerging trends in corporate social responsibility. Reports published for private industry, government and private foundations include the Orange County Community Indicators report, Workforce Assessment Indicators, Orange County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the first-ever Sustainable Communities Strategy addressing climate change issues at the local and regional levels, Workforce Housing Toolkit, and Public Officials 101.

In addition, Dr. Walrod is a lead economic advisor to the Southern California Association of Governments economic strategy initiative and is Chief Economic Advisor to the Draper Hero Institute, leading the Draper Innovation Index Initiative. He has co-authored and published three papers with Luis Suarez-Villa—Disasters, Journal of International Biotechnology, and Urban Studies, the latter winning the 1997 Donald Robertson Memorial Prize. He is often quoted in regional and national media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Entrepreneur. Over his years of experience, he has led strategic projects with organizations including the Draper Hero Institute, Esri, Toshiba America Information Systems, Hitachi Chemical, Merrill Lynch, The Irvine Company, First American Corporation, Citizens Business Bank, Bank of America, Los Angeles Business Council, California Emerging Technology Fund, First 5 OC, the Orange County Community Foundation, Wexford Capital, Next 10, Orange County Community Foundation, California Center for Regional Leadership, PacifiCare Health Systems, Fueling California, John Wayne Airport, Pacific Life Foundation, Orange County Workforce Investment Board, County of Orange, City of Anaheim, City of Santa Ana, City of Huntington Beach, Protect California Jobs and Innovation Coalition, James Irvine Foundation, Deloitte & Touche, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Orange County Transportation Authority, Southern California Association of Governments, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Viewpoint Learning, and Pacific Gas & Electric.

Dr. Walrod earned his Ph.D. in Regional Economics from the University of California, Irvine where his dissertation focused on successful strategic management practices in high-tech firms, including advanced electronics and biotechnology.