About the Executive Director

James Slaughter, Executive Director

James Slaughter photo

Mr. Slaughter, who became the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority Executive Director in February 2023, oversees the daily operations of the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority (UEZA) staff. The UEZA had existed in a state of limbo for a number of years until Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed legislation allowing an expansion of services to our designated UEZ zones in 2021. Mr. Slaughter quickly assessed the needs of the Agency, as well as the program, and has been working diligently to improve and streamline training for our zone partners; he has set impressive but attainable goals to enhance project review and compliance. Under his leadership, the UEZA has been amping up its marketing efforts to spread the word of urban revitalization, as well.

Prior to joining state government, Mr. Slaughter served as the Director of Planning of Park City Communities in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he was then promoted to executive director. At Park City Communities, he reviewed designs and monitored the construction of mixed-income housing; made capital repairs and site planning; managed day-to-day operations; worked with the Board of Commissioners in formulating policy and programming for the authority; oversaw the implementation of Annual Plan, Budget Formulation, audit issues, and negotiated new health, personnel contracts medical benefits personnel. He also held positions as the City Manager for the City of Newburgh, NY, and Director of Economic Development for the City of Peekskill, NY.

Mr. Slaughter is the recipient of the American Planning Association Paul Davidoff Award for Advocacy Planning, given to honor the memory of Paul Davidoff, an eminent planner who established the field of advocacy planning and who was an unyielding force for justice and social equity in the profession. Mr. Slaughter's efforts were recognized for the 10-year journey with the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Development Corporation, from conceptualization to construction management, resulting in the development of a 100,000-square-foot shopping center, retail pad, commercial projects, new firehouse, residential development, and light rail transit station.

Mr. Slaughter has more than 27 years of experience in economic development, housing production, parking analysis, preparation of state/federal grants, administering economic development initiatives for redevelopment projects, mixed-use historic preservation, revamping policies, regulatory, and zoning issues.

Mr. Slaughter earned his Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Master of Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from Vermont College/Norwich University. He also obtained a certificate in historic preservation from Drew University.