University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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James Allen

Department of Urban and Regional Planning


James Allen

226 Hayes Hall




Masters in Urban Planning (M.U.P.) - State University of New York at Buffalo. 1999.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science- St. John Fisher College. 1971.

Professional Experience

2001- 2003: Erie County Industrial Development - Agency- Executive Director

Responsibilities include developing an integrated economic development delivery system to better facilitate the attraction, retention, and expansion of firms in the Buffalo Niagara Region.  Responsibilities also include strategic planning for all economic development groups in the region.  In addition to serving as the Executive director of the Erie County agency, the position also serves as the Executive Director of the Amherst IDA.

1979- Present : Amherst Industrial Development Agency - Executive Director

Responsibilities include the development of strategic goals and objectives for the Town of Amherst’s economic development efforts; the development of business development marketing initiatives in collaboration with the regional Buffalo Niagara Enterprise program; the development of linkages between the University of buffalo and other area colleges and local firms; the development of financial and tax incentives to attract and retain business firms within the region; the development of on-line application processes; and, keeping all of the agency’s programs current and market-driven.

For more information on the Amherst Industrial Development Agency, go to our website at

1973-1979: Genesee County Chamber of Commerce - President

As President of the Genesee County Chamber, I also served as the Executive Director of the County Industrial Development Agency and served as the County economic coordinator whose duties included the responsibility for tourism promotion.

Additional professional activities

Served as an economic advisor through the International Economic Development Council to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Assisted the community in the development of an economic development strategy.

Serve on the board of directors for the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, a 5-year, $25 million regional marketing initiative.  Also serve on the BNE’s strategic planning committee.

Serve on the board of directors of the Western New York Business Development Fund, a seed capital firm targeted to start-up companies within the region.

Served on the Regional Economic Development Database Committee responsible for the developing a GIS-based comprehensive data resource tool to be used by all regional economic development organizations.

Served on the town’s Comprehensive land use Plan Technical Advisory Committee.  The Town of Amherst Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Town Board in February, 2007.

Academic Affiliations

1999- Present  - serve as adjunct faculty member of the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning- State University of New York at Buffalo.  Currently teaching: Economic Development and Industrial Change..  Also co-teach a course in the Law School entitled: Topics in Regional Economic Development.

1994-1999- served as part-time instructor at Canisius College.  Taught a course in Planning and Urban Revitalization.

Professional Memberships

New York Economic Development Council (NYSEDC)

International Economic Development Council (IEDC)

National Association of Office and Industrial Parks (NAIOP)

Urban Land Institute (ULI)

American Planning Association (APA)

Alliance for Regional Stewardship (ARS)