Best-Performing Cities

About the Milken Institute

Milken Institute

A nonprofit, nonpartisan economic think tank, the Milken Institute works to improve lives around the world by advancing innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital, and enhance health. We produce rigorous, independent economic research — and maximize its impact by convening global leaders from the worlds of business, finance, government, and philanthropy. By fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors, we transform great ideas into action.

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About the Authors

Ross DeVol

Ross DeVol is chief research officer at the Milken Institute. He oversees research on international, national, and comparative regional growth performance; technology and its impact on regional and national economies; access to capital and its role in economic growth and job creation; and health-related topics. DeVol has written numerous reports in the Institute's primary research areas. He authored "The Yen Sets, but Does the Sun Rise? Abenomics and the Future of Japan," a report card evaluating the likely impact of Abenomics, a set of economic policies introduced by the Shinzo Abe-led government. He was the principal author of "The Global Biomedical Industry: Preserving U.S. Leadership," a study showing that while the United States is still the global leader in the biomedical industry, countries across Europe and Asia are pursuing plans to close the gap. DeVol was lead author of "A Matter of Degrees: The Effect of Educational Attainment on Regional Economic Prosperity," which demonstrated the high returns to investment in higher education and the research spillovers that universities facilitate. He also authored "America's High-Tech Economy: Growth, Development, and Risks for Metropolitan Areas" (which was translated into Chinese) and created the Best-Performing Cities index, an annual ranking of U.S. metropolitan areas that shows where jobs are being created. DeVol was previously senior vice president of Global Insight Inc. He is ranked among the "Super Stars" of Think Tank Scholars by International Economy magazine. DeVol appears and is quoted frequently in the media.

Minoli Ratnatunga

Minoli Ratnatunga is an economist at the Milken Institute focused on regional economic development and regional competitiveness. Her publications include "An Economic Road Map for Kern County," "Underground Lending: Submerging Emerging Asia?" and the Best-Performing Cities series, including the first Asian edition in 2014. Before joining the Institute, she worked for eight years at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, a regional economic development organization focused on improving the competitiveness of and quality of life in the Pittsburgh region. At the Allegheny Conference, Ratnatunga focused her research on energy policy, transportation and infrastructure funding, and state tax competitiveness, working with civic and business leaders to help key decision-makers make better policy choices. She also led the economic impact study practice, managing the production of research reports that captured the importance of strategic industries and projects to the Pennsylvania economy. Ratnatunga has a master's degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor's degree in philosophy and economics from the London School of Economics.

Armen Bedrossian

Armen Bedroussian is an adjunct fellow at the Milken Institute, where he previously served as a senior economist. His work focuses on regional industry dynamics, economic impact analysis, and forecasting of regional and macroeconomic trends. His contributions to many of the Institute's research projects and publications have provided useful benchmarking tools to business and policy leaders. Bedroussian has co-authored numerous studies, including the annual Best-Performing Cities index, and was directly involved in the groundbreaking research contained in "An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease" and "Mind to Market: A Global Analysis of University Biotechnology Transfer and Commercialization." His other work includes "The Global Biomedical Industry: Preserving U.S. Leadership," "Jobs for America: Investments and Policies for Economic Growth and Competitiveness," and "North America's High-Tech Economy." Before joining the Institute, Bedroussian was an economics teaching assistant in micro- and macroeconomics at the University of California, Riverside, where he received a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and a master's degree in economics.

View Best-Performing Cities Report
Download The 2015 Best-Performing Cities Full Report (PDF)

View Top 10 Large Cities Slideshow
View Top 10 Large Cities Slideshow

View Top 10 Small Cities Slideshow
View Top 10 Small Cities Slideshow

U.S. Interactive Map
View Interactive Map of Best-Performing Cities

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