An award-winning academic and civic leader, Gary Russi served as the president of Oakland University for 18 years before retiring in 2013. Gary Russi balanced his responsibilities at the university with numerous community-based leadership roles, including his position on the Investor-Leadership Council with the Michigan Economic Center (MEC).
Among its many initiatives, the MEC currently operates the Michigan Dream Restored: Public Goods Policy Development and Agenda Setting Project to address the lack of public and political action to support important assets that are critical for Michigan’s economic development. The Michigan Dream Restored project works to present independent research and policy examples that illustrate successful initiatives in other states.
With this information, the project promotes policy recommendations focused on improving state investment in community attributes like infrastructure, education, and outdoor spaces. The project also helps government officials and civic organizations advocate for and implement public goods investment strategies. In the effort to stimulate political action, the Michigan Dream Restored project partners with state legislative leaders, the state cabinet, and the governor.