Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kurt moved permanently to the Detroit area in 1975 when he began full-time employment with the Census Bureau. Kurt spent 15 years with the U.S. Census Bureau in the Detroit Regional Office. During his last 10 years, he organized and directed the data services program in the 3-state region of Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.
In 1990, he joined Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Studies as a Senior Research Analyst with the Michigan Metropolitan Information Center (MIMIC) program. He became director of MIMIC in 1993, and then Center Research Director in 2000.
In 2005, he went on to become Research Director for the United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM). In this capacity, he developed and conducted the primary and secondary research required to transition UWSEM to a community impact-driven United Way. Beginning in 2008, UWSEM redirected its funding emphasis to the areas of educational preparedness, financial stability, and basic needs.
After speaking for 30 years about the need for coordinated data collection and delivery in Southeast Michigan, in 2008 Kurt was selected by the Skillman and Kresge foundations to develop and direct a new foundation-funded regional data indicators system, Data Driven Detroit (D3). In this capacity, he plans to reach out to data developers in the government, nonprofit and private sectors and explain to them the importance of making their data publicly available and to offer them a system that will facilitate the process. In addition, the vision for D3 is to serve as a regional information resource – a one-stop hub where information from any and all sources around the region are housed, coordinated, and made publicly available.
Kurt’s demographic research interests dovetail well with the essence of D3′s charge – namely, developing a “centralized” data repository that will facilitate a variety of research, education and service programs designed to improve the understanding of population and housing patterns in metropolitan Detroit and urban America.
Kurt brings his demographic expertise to a number of state and local organizations, including the Michigan Land Use Leadership Council, the Governor’s Lead Task Force, Michigan’s Children, Michigan Kids Count, the Michigan Early Childhood Investment Council (ECIC), OneD, the New Economy Initiative, SEMCOG, the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, and many more. He also serves on the boards of Create Detroit, the Greening of Detroit, and the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit. In addition, he is regularly sought out by local media and is asked by a variety of organizations throughout the region, state and country to speak on demographic trends.
For more, go to www.datadrivendetroit.org.