Master of Science
City and Regional Planning
Georgia Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Communications
University of California, San Diego



Instructor at IEDC Basic Economic Development Courses in Atlanta, Little Rock, and Montgomery Alabama

Co-author of articles featured in Chamber Executive and Southern Business and Development magazines

Quoted in economic development related stories in the New York Times,,, and multiple local and regional newspapers, business journals, and magazines



Alex Pearlstein

Vice Principal Economic Development 

Alex is that rarest of all creatures, a second generation Los Angelino. He grew up in the San Fernando Valley but just over the hill from Hollywood, which kept him from being teased in high school. Ironically, he attended elementary school with Moon Zappa, daughter of Frank of “Valley Girl” fame.

Choosing to leave the nest but remain in laundry range, Alex attended the University of California at San Diego where he majored in Communications with a minor in Anthropology. After a post-graduation realization that these degrees did not make him a job magnet, Alex dabbled in a number of careers, including newspaper reporting, sports highlight editing, sales management, and corporate research.
Returning to L.A. after two cross-country drives, Alex spent a number of years writing screenplays and teleplays before an existential crisis led to an honest assessment of what he really wanted to do with his life. A love of travel, exploring new places, and Sim City eventually steered him to City Planning, which Alex pursued through a Master’s of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, the best laboratory for the good and bad of planning in America.

While at Georgia Tech, a class in economic development methods sparked a love of “telling stories with numbers” and eventually led to a specialization in Economic Development in the planning program. That was the beginning of a 16-year career in economic development consulting that has seen Alex manage 63 strategic projects for 49 communities of all sizes in 23 U.S. states and one Canadian province.
While all places are different, exposure to consistent issues such as existing business expansion, entrepreneurship and innovation, prospect marketing, workforce development, public policy, infrastructure, quality of life and place, diversity and inclusion, resiliency, and regional collaboration has given Alex a well-honed perspective on strategically addressing these issues. Alex believes that developing the plan is just the “end of the beginning;” creating an effective framework for implementation is critical to achieving lasting success.

Alex has been an instructor at Basic Economic Development courses in Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas and has been quoted in, the New York Times,, and dozens of local and regional business journals, newspapers, and magazines.
Alex currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, daughter, and two crazy dogs. He enjoys a good puzzle, crosswords, and Sudoku especially. A passionate sports fan, Alex follows all Georgia Tech teams as well as UAB and Iowa State football, the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Bucks, Tottenham Hotspur, and the Birmingham Legion.