Rick Weddle, the president and chief executive officer of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, will be the new president and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation.

Weddle was selected by the foundation’s board on Monday.

He will replace the retiring Jim Roberson. Roberson will stay at the Foundation until Weddle takes over and then will serve as a consultant, the RTP group said.

“Working for the Research Triangle Foundation of NC is a very unique opportunity,” Weddle said in a statement. “I am really looking forward to helping the Park finish out its development and moving on to a new phase for the Park. There is still a lot of land to sell in the Park and there are many tasks we can take on to encourage regional cooperation and to help the rest of North Carolina grow and prosper.”

Weddle has worked in Phoenix the past seven years and is credited with helping bring more than 26,000 jobs and 170 companies to the Phoenix area. He also helped organize the Greater Phoenix Business Coalition. He also is the current chairman of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), an international association for economic developers that represents the largest number of economic developers in the United States.

“He is one of the most sought-after economic developers in the nation,” said David Ward, chairman of the foundation. “Rick has tremendous connections in the economic development community and has solid relationships with many site selection consultants.”

Weddle helped establish the Winston-Salem Business Inc. and served as CEO from 1987-1991. He also worked as president and CEO of the regional growth partnership in Toledo, Ohio.

Roberson announced his plans to retire in January.

RTP Foundation: www.rtp.org