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As the Director for Export Promotion at USTDA, Ms. Afas helps U.S. companies export goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. This is her second position with USTDA; she previously served as a Country Manager for a multimillion dollar portfolio of projects throughout the Middle East and North Africa region.
Prior to returning to USTDA, Ms. Afas was a Manager in Grant Thornton's Global Public Sector practice. In this role she advised clients worldwide in their efforts to improve efficiency, increase transparency and foster economic development, from supporting the privatization of SOEs to implementing business process improvement initiatives. Additionally, Ms. Afas was a financial analyst at the U.S. Trust Company in New York where she executed trades and managed overdrafts for asset management accounts in excess of $3.1 billion. Previously, she served as legislative aide to a Member of Parliament in London and a consultant to the World Economic Forum during their Annual Meetings.
Ms. Afas earned her Master's in international economic policy from Columbia University and a Bachelor's in political science from James Madison University. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the Montgomery County Commission for Women.
Dr. Robert D. Atkinson is one of the country's foremost thinkers on innovation economics. With has an extensive background in technology policy, he has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policy makers, and a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally. He is the author of The Race for Global Innovation Advantage and Why the U.S. is Falling Behind (Yale, forthcoming) and The Past and Future of America's Economy: Long Waves of Innovation That Power Cycles of Growth (Edward Elgar, 2005). Before coming to ITIF, Atkinson was Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute and Director of PPI's Technology & New Economy Project. Ars Technica listed Atkinson as one of 2009's Tech Policy People to Watch. He has testified before a number of committees in Congress and has appeared in various media outlets including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and NBC Nightly News. He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.
Dee Baird is CEO/President of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. The Economic Alliance began operations on January 1 after the successful merger of Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Rapids Downtown District and Priority One. The Economic Alliance combines and aligns the economic development, business support and community development efforts of those former organizations with a vision to become one of the top economic growth regions in the country.
Previously Dee was Executive Vice President at Kirkwood Community College. Dee worked at Kirkwood for 12 years and held various leadership positions. Dee holds a Ph.D. and a M.Ed. from Iowa State University and a B.A. from Simpson College.
She is an active member of the Cedar Rapids community. Dee has served on more than a dozen boards and commissions at the local, state and national level. Currently she is a member of the Hall Perrine Foundation Board, Association of Business and Industry Board, the Executive Committee of the Iowa Chamber Alliance and is Chair of The International Economic Development Council's Research Committee on Workforce Development.
In the last few years, Dee has been named one of the Corridor Business Journal's top 25 influential leaders. In 2005 Dee was also named one of the “Top Ten Women of Influence” in the inaugural class. Dee has been recognized by the League for Innovation in the Community College for her work with the Technology Corridor Skills 2006 Report. In 2000, Dee was awarded the YWCA Outstanding Honoree for Organizational Impact. She is also a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute Graduate.
Dee has facilitated and authored three regional skills assessment studies of regional employers and a national publication on business partnerships.
William Bates is Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at the Council on Competitiveness and Secretary to the Council's Board of Directors. Bill manages the Council's outreach and message to Members of Congress, the Administration and Governors and also serves as the Executive Director of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, a network of over 30 competitiveness councils from around the world committed to sharing best practices, identifying global competitiveness principles and seeking to better understand the drivers of national prosperity in a global economy.
He is the co-author of the Council's Five for the Future and Compete competitiveness agendas that identified critical issues that will determine America's ability to compete and prosper in the global economy. Bill is a frequent speaker both nationally and internationally on a range of competitiveness and innovation topics from education to technology policy.
He previously served as Director of Government Relations for the United States Telecom Association. Prior to that, he was Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to House Commerce Committee member, U. S. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA). During his three years on Capitol Hill, he advised the Congresswoman on a wide range of technology issues including telecommunications, biotechnology and intellectual property. Before joining Ms. Eshoo, he was an Associate with the Washington, DC-based public affairs company, Cassidy & Associates.
With more than sixteen years experience working for and with government policymakers, Bill brings a unique combination of political and policy expertise to the Council. He holds a master degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor degree in Government and History from Cornell University. In his spare time, he is a writer of fiction.
Following 21 years in elected office, a stint at Harvard in the Kennedy school and owning a successful small business, Jane Campbell came to Capitol Hill in 2009 as Senator Landrieu's Chief of Staff. The two met as the youngest women elected to their respective legislatures when a leader of the National Conference of State Legislatures claimed that a “a woman would lead this organization over his dead body.” In struggle a bond emerged. In 2013 Campbell became Staff Director for the Senate Committee on Small Business and entrepreneurship. Originally appointed by Chair Landrieu, she has been asked to stay by the new chair, Sen. Cantwell. As Staff Director, Campbell works to make sure that small businesses have a seat at the policymaking table in the Senate and that the SBA is as effective as possible in creating access to capital, opening federal contracting opportunities for small businesses, creating entrepreneurial education especially for veterans, women and minorities, and in promoting exports by small businesses.
While serving as Chief, Campbell led the work on Sen. Landrieu's key legislative priorities including passage of the Small Business Jobs Act creating new capital resources for small business, streamlining the disaster recovery process to assist the rebuilding of New Orleans and other areas impacted by disaster including the Super Storm Sandy communities. Campbell managed the Senator's response to the BP oil spill including guiding the negotiations leading to successful passage of the RESTORE Act dedicating 80% of the Clean Water Penalties to rebuild the Gulf Coast.
As Mayor, Campbell created Cleveland's Lakefront Development plan that to this day guides the enhancement of the city's greatest asset. She restored fiscal stability and integrity to the city following a corruption scandal and closed a $60M deficit without imposing a tax increase. During her time in office the city built Ohio's first Emergency Operations Center, hosted the first US International Children's Games, and established CityStat to provide accountability and transparency in evaluating city services. Her work with the private sector created a nearly $3B investment in development/redevelopment projects including Steelyard Commons, Battery Park, the Avenue district, Fourth St. Redevelopment, Gordon Square Arts District and the bus-rapid transit center connected downtown and University Circle.
Prior to her election as Mayor, Campbell served as county commissioner in Ohio's largest County and while in office managed the implementation of welfare reform that moved over 20,000 families from welfare into work. Her public service career included six terms in the Ohio House of Representatives focused on economic development financing, child welfare and health and human services policy and included a term as the President of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Following her time in office, Campbell served as a John F. Kennedy fellow at the Harvard University Institute of Politics. She returned home to Cleveland as the Managing Director of Public Sector Solutions at Colliers Ostendorf Morris where she negotiated public/private partnerships for corporate and local government entities to strengthen economic development prior to coming to Washington.
Dan Carol is the Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, focused on advancing innovative performance and community-based partnerships in areas such as job creation, infrastructure, and health.
Previously, he held a Senior Fellowship at NDN and The New Policy Institute, where he served as a strategic adviser to NDN's Next Economy Partnership Project, focusing on bottom-up and regional innovation. Before that, Carol served as the Content & Issues Director for the Obama for President Campaign, where he guided the launches of Obama's NewEnergyforAmerica.com plan and Clean Tech Business Leaders for Obama (CT40).
Before that, Carol was an environmental and energy budget analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, a Presidential Management Fellow, a policy advisor for the Congressional Institute for the Future, a co-founder of the Apollo Alliance and the founding principal of CTSG, a 70-person web strategy company sold to BLKB: NASDAQ in 2004.
A member of the Clinton Global Initiative, Carol earlier served as Research Director for the Democratic National Committee during the 1992 presidential cycle, where he directed staff work on the Party's national platform and worked in Little Rock on the Clinton-Gore debate team. He holds a BA from the University of Michigan (1980) and an MRP from the University of North Carolina (1983).
John Chaffee is the President/CEO of the NCEast Alliance, a regional economic development agency serving more than 1 million residents within several small metropolitan and micropolitan areas from the fringe of the Research Triangle to the Atlantic Coast.
Mr. Chaffee earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Economic Geography with a specialization in industrial location and regional economics. He began his career of economic development in eastern North Carolina (1977) and was selected as executive director of the Pitt County Economic Development Commission in 1983. In January 2006, he retired from that post to become director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center's Eastern Regional Office in Greenville with the mission to facilitate capacity building for life sciences in eastern North Carolina. He was named CEO of North Carolina's Eastern Region in April, 2009, which was recently succeeded by the NCEast Alliance. He counts among his successes the establishment of the first corporate park in the east, development of robust partnerships, strategies to recruit Japanese companies, and collaborative efforts to encourage the emergence of a life science R&D-based cluster in the Greenville Metro area.
Mr. Chaffee's accolades include being named to the list of “Outstanding Young Men in America” by the Jaycees and “Outstanding Young Leader in Geo-Economics” by Site Selection Handbook. He has served as a member of the North Carolina Economic Development Board and as a board member for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. He currently serves on the State Advisory Board of the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center and the NCSU Industrial Extension Service Advisory Board as well as the Advisory Committees for the ECU Departments of Biology and Engineering. His articles on economic development have been published in professional journals and the German newspaper, Handlesblatt.
Mr. Chaffee and his wife, Jody, reside in Greenville, NC and have three grown children and two grandchildren.
Tammy Childers is the Executive Director for the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board, Inc. [ECWDB] a regional non-profit organization located in New Bern, North Carolina. The ECWDB serves a nine county region that encompasses 5,710 square miles. The ECWDB is a unique public/private partnership consisting of a 28 member board of directors comprised of local elected officials, employers, and community leaders, whose role is to ensure that the local workforce development system is market-driven and responsive in meeting the employment and training needs of both job seekers and employers.
Ms. Childers began her career in the banking and finance industry. In 1989, after working for ten years in the private sector, she transitioned into the public sector specializing in employment and training. In 1996, Ms. Childers was selected by her board to serve as their chief executive officer. Under her leadership, the board obtained their non-profit organization status and operates as one of the largest non-profits in the region. Ms. Childers is responsible for providing leadership, policy development, strategic planning, and oversight for local workforce initiatives to include the development of local One-Stop Career Centers. Ms. Childers is passionate about workforce development and believes that education is the key to economic success.
Ms. Childers is a member of several boards and associations including: North Carolina Workforce Development Board Director’s Council (past president), North Carolina Association of Workforce Boards, National Skills Coalition Leadership Council, National Association of Workforce Boards, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, Southeastern Employment and Training Association. North Carolina’s Eastern Region Aerospace/Defense Advisory Committee, Eastern North Carolina Science and Engineering Forum, New Bern Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Craven County Non-Profit Council (past president) Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce Workforce Advisory Committee, and Craven County Transportation Advisory Committee.
In 1999, Tammy was nominated and selected to serve as an Ambassador for Rotary International to Tasmania, Australia. She participated in Rotary International’s professional Group Study Exchange program where she studied Australia’s workforce development system for five weeks. In 2005, Ms. Childers was selected to participate in a mission exchange to Honduras. In 2012, she was one of two Workforce Board Directors on the U.S. Delegation for the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) and Canadian Economic and Workforce Investment Learning Exchange. Ms. Childers enjoys researching global workforce development initiatives to identify best practices. She is currently serving as the Assistant District Governor for Rotary International District 7720. She is past president of the Rotary Club of New Bern, and served as the Area 8 International Group Study Exchange (GSE) Coordinator from 2005-2012.
Ms. Childers holds a master’s degree in Human Services Executive Leadership from Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, and earned her undergraduate degree in Business Administration - Management and Organizational Development.
Mary Sue Coleman has led the University of Michigan since being appointed its 13th president in August 2002.
As president, she has unveiled several major initiatives that will have an impact on future generations of students, the intellectual life of the campus, and society at large. These initiatives include the interdisciplinary richness of the U-M, student residential life, the economic vitality of the state and nation, global engagement, and the value of innovation and creativity.
Time magazine has named her one of the nation's "10 best college presidents."
President Coleman is a recognized higher education leader at the national level. President Obama selected her as one of six university presidents to help launch the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort bringing together industry, universities and the federal government. And in 2010, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke named her co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Under President Coleman's leadership, the University has launched and expanded academic partnerships with universities in China, Ghana, South Africa and Brazil. She also announced a groundbreaking partnership between the University and Google, which will enable the public to search the text of the University's 7-million-volume library and will open the way to universal access and the preservation of recorded human knowledge.
Dr. Coleman led "The Michigan Difference," a campaign to raise $2.5 billion for the future of the institution. At its conclusion in December 2008, the campaign finale stood at $3.2 billion - the most ever raised by a public university. The university will launch its next ambitious campaign this fall.
She is regarded as a national spokesperson on the educational value of diverse perspectives in the classroom. Her extensive leadership positions in higher education have included membership on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Directors and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. She is the immediate past chair of the Association of American Universities, which encompasses 61 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. She also served as chair of the Internet2 Board of Trustees.
Elected to the Institute of Medicine, President Coleman also is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She co-chaired a major policy study of the Institute of Medicine, examining the consequences of uninsurance, and has become a nationally recognized expert on the issue.
As a biochemist, Dr. Coleman built a distinguished research career through her research on the immune system and malignancies. At Michigan, she holds appointments of professor of biological chemistry in the Medical School and professor of chemistry in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
For 19 years she was a member of the biochemistry faculty at the University of Kentucky. Her work in the sciences led to administrative appointments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of New Mexico, where she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs. From 1995-2002, Dr. Coleman was president of the University of Iowa.
She is a member of the Business Leaders for Michigan Executive Committee and the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan. She also is a trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation. She serves on the boards of directors of Johnson & Johnson and the Meredith Corporation.
She earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina.
She holds honorary doctorates from Grinnell College, Luther College, the University of Kentucky, Albion College, Dartmouth College, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Northeastern University, the University of Toledo, the University of Notre Dame, Grand Valley State University, the University of North Carolina, and Eastern Kentucky University.
She is the recipient of a distinguished alumnus award from the University of North Carolina and the Alumni Award from Grinnell College. The Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion has honored her as Humanitarian of the Year, and the Michigan Women's Foundation has presented her with its Trillium Lifetime Achievement Award.
President Coleman and her husband, Dr. Kenneth Coleman, a political scientist specializing in Latin American studies, live in the historic President's House on the University campus. Their son, Jonathan, is a portfolio manager who lives in Denver with his family.
James currently serves as the Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and is developing a rail-anchored industrial park on tribal trust land. His duties also include evaluating and facilitating numerous business development proposals and tribal franchise opportunities and implementing the tribal strategic economic development plan. Previous economic development activities include serving as Chair of the Morgan County, CO Economic Development Corporation and as a member of the Executive Committee for the St. Charles County, MO Economic Development Corporation. He has facilitated and packaged numerous economic development projects and agreements over the last 20+ years and guided the development of a community-based Fiscal Impact Tool and a Computable General Equilibrium Model. He has traveled extensively internationally on business ventures including accompanying the Missouri Governor on a trade mission to Asia. Currently Dr. Collard serves as the Vice Chair of the Oklahoma Governor's International Team. His previous experience includes over seventeen years in city management and five years as an executive in the environmental services industry.
JoAnn Crary is the President of Saginaw Future, a non-profit economic development organization. She has held that position since 1993 and has been in economic development since the mid 1980's. Crary completed her undergraduate degree from Ferris State University and has a Masters degree from Central Michigan University. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a graduate of the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional.
Crary is a member of the MEDC Collaborative Development Council and the Business Attraction Committee. She is currently on the International Economic Development Council's Board of Directors and serves as Secretary/Treasurer, is a member of the Governance Committee and the Economic Development Research Partners. IEDC is the foremost international economic development organization with nearly 4300 members. She has served on the IEDC Board since 2006.
Crary is also on the Saginaw County Revolving Loan Fund Board, Saginaw Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Citizens Bank Market Area Board and the Saginaw Hospital Finance Authority. Crary also serves on the Board of Fellows at Saginaw Valley State University, Mobile Medical Response Finance Committee and is an ex officio member of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Crary was recognized in 2013 as one of the Great Women of the Great Lakes Bay, was given the Wally Bronner Community Spirit Award from the Saginaw County Chapter of American Red Cross in 2010. She was also honored with the inaugural Economic Leadership Award from Junior Achievement of Northeast Michigan in 2010. The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce gave Crary its inaugural Athena Award in 2005 and in 2001, the Michigan Economic Developers Association named Crary as the MEDA Medalist Award winner. In 1996, she was honored by Governor Engler as the Economic Developer of the Year for outstanding contributions in economic development.
JoAnn and her two children, KaLynn and Michael reside in Frankenmuth.
Under Secretary Mark Doms serves as a top economic advisor to the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Obama Administration. In this capacity, he contributes to policies and discussions on a wide range of issues including trade, manufacturing, taxation, innovation, competiveness, retirement security, immigration, and education. Dr. Doms also leads the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), which includes two of our nation's leading information agencies: the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). These agencies collect and produce information on the United States' dynamic population and economy, providing vital data to our nation's citizens, businesses, and leaders. The Census Bureau and BEA have a combined staff of over 10,000 and a budget exceeding $1 billion. Dr. Doms also serves as the Secretary's appointed Board Representative to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
From 2009 until he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, Dr. Doms was the Chief Economist at the DOC. In that capacity, Dr. Doms frequently met with business leaders from across the country, listening to their concerns and insights and providing overviews of the U.S. economy. Dr. Doms and his staff produced reports on the middle class, intellectual property, broadband adoption, STEM education, and U.S. competitiveness, among other subjects. Prior to joining DOC, Dr. Doms spent most of his career in the Federal Reserve system, helping guide monetary policy. He is a leading researcher and expert in the areas of innovation, productivity, wages, manufacturing, and price measurement. Dr. Doms received a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Brett Doney is the President & CEO of the Great Falls Development Authority, a public/private economic development partnership serving the Great Falls Montana trade area. GFDA's mission is to grow and diversify the Great Falls economy and support the creation of high wage jobs. GFDA is active in business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship, business attraction, downtown and riverfront revitalization, and workforce development. In 2012, GFDA became the first economic development organization in the Rocky Mountain West to be accredited by the International Economic Development Council.
GFDA is a Community Development Financial Institution, and hosts a Small Business Development Center and a Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Doney also leads High Plains Financial, a SBA Certified Development Corporation that is affiliated with GFDA, and the Great Falls AgriTech Park LLC, developer of a 1,300 acre rail industrial park.
Doney has 28 years of experience in urban and rural community economic development from the various perspectives of the non-profit, public and private sectors. His prior positions include President & CEO of Enterprise Maine, a family of community economic development organizations dedicated to creating economic opportunity and enhancing the quality of life in rural western Maine, Director of the Ft. Devens Reuse Center, a 9,600 acre army base redevelopment effort in Massachusetts, and President of Doney Associates, a Boston-based consulting firm focused on urban revitalization.
Doney's efforts have won awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the American Economic Development Council, the International Economic Development Council, the National Association of Development Organizations, and the Finance Authority of Maine. His professional certifications include Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR), Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate (SLCR), Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), RMA Credit Risk Certification, LEED Accredited Professional, Federal Grants Management and Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma. Doney earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Doney has taught and given presentations for a number of state, national and international organizations. He serves on the boards of the Montana Economic Development Association, NeighborWorks Great Falls, the Downtown Great Falls Partnership and Montana Ambassadors. He is an active Rotarian and past President of the Great Falls Rotary Club.
Matt S. Erskine serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development for the U.S. Economic Development Administration. He was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Chief Operating Officer in September 2011.
Before joining the Obama Administration, he was Senior Vice President at the Greater Washington Board of Trade and Executive Director of the Greater Washington Initiative, a private-public regional economic development effort that has helped to position the Washington region as a premier business destination. Additionally, Erskine was President of PLAY, a management consulting firm in Richmond; a Principal in the Advanced Technology-Telecom and Professional Services practices of the management consulting firm Korn-Ferry International; and, management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand Consulting in the Telecommunications & Media Strategy and Federal Government practice areas.
He also served in the public sector as the Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade in Virginia Governor Mark Warner Administration, where he led and managed multiple gubernatorial initiatives and had oversight of the operations of 16 departments and agencies, consisting of more than 2,500 employees and a combined annual budget of $800 million. Erskine was also appointed by Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine to the bi-partisan Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission.
Erskine earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the University of Virginia as an Echols Scholar and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the Harvard Business School. He recently completed his five-year term membership with the Council on Foreign Relations. He regularly competes in triathlons, marathons, and endurance races. Erskine and his wife have three children.
Connie Evans is the President and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the national nonprofit organization and business trade association representing the U.S. microenterprise development industry. AEO has nearly 400 member organizations that provide training, technical assistance and resources to entrepreneurs across the United States.
Connie's joining of AEO in March 2009 was a logical next step in her career as a visionary leader, strategist, activist, and social entrepreneur who has founded three organizations. In 1986 she was the founding president of the award-winning Women's Self-Employment Project, the first and largest urban microenterprise development organization in the U.S. and the first adaptation of the Grameen Bank model to a U.S. urban setting. Evans also pioneered one of the first matched-savings program -- Individual Development Accounts -- in the country. In 2000 she founded WSEP Ventures, a social enterprise-hybrid organization developed to serve as a catalyst for social change, economic development and community empowerment. At WSEP Ventures, Evans launched Capital Bridge C3, a fellowship program supporting emerging social entrepreneurs. And in 2007, Evans founded CSolutions Consulting, an advisory boutique specializing in solutions that address social change.
An international development consultant, with over 25 years experience, she has been recognized and utilized by such groups as the World Bank, the Clinton Administration, a host of local government and private and independent sector organizations. With international experience spanning 43 countries, Evans draws on her expertise in developing and implementing strategies to further economic development, health and social change in communities.
Evans started her career in community mental health as a master-level psychologist. Her commitment to improving the health and life options for disadvantaged women and their families moved her to "harness the marketplace" for solutions. As the Assistant Director of a Hull House Association affiliate in Chicago, Evans became the Project Director for the first resident managed public housing site in the city. She helped low-income women to organize, develop leadership skills, and learn business to take control over a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Evans has lectured in universities throughout the United States and is a frequent panelist and key note speaker at conferences around the globe. She has many distinguished awards. A sampling includes being named the Inaugural Twink Frey Social Activist in 2006; the 1996 Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine who recognized her contributions in making Chicago a better place to live. Her leadership and commitment to community service and social change has also been recognized with the first Teknion Humanitarian Award in 1999; Gloria Steinem Woman of Vision Award; 1998 Community Leader of the Year presented by the African American MBA Association at the University of Chicago; and the Chicago Community Service Fellowship Award by the Chicago Community Trust.
Evans' broad experiences across the worlds of business and finance compliments her skills in development finance. She served two elected terms on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and was the first African American woman to hold such a position. Evans was appointed by President Clinton to the CDFI Advisory Board, a fund in the Department of the Treasury. She also received appointments from President Clinton to the U.S. Delegation to preparatory meetings for the Summit of the Americas, to the U.S. Delegation to preparatory meetings for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and again for Beijing Plus Five.
A strong advocate of good governance in nonprofits, Evans has nearly 20 years of service on philanthropic foundation boards, and serves on a number of national and international boards including the Social Venture Network. She is also the Chair of the Chicago Committee for the African Women's Development Fund, based in Ghana.
Congressman Chaka Fattah is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. This committee is responsible for setting spending priorities for over $1 trillion in annual discretionary funds. Congressman Fattah is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS). The Subcommittee on CJS oversees close to $51 billion in discretionary spending including the Commerce and Justice Departments, NASA. NOAA and the National Science Foundation. Fattah is also Chair of the Congressional Urban Caucus, a bipartisan group of 47 Members representing America's metropolitan centers. These Members work collaboratively with other stakeholders to address the unique challenges facing America's urban communities.
Jeffrey Finkle has been a leader in economic development for more than 20 years. In August, 2001 he became the president and CEO of the International Economic Development Council, following IEDC's birth through the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) with the American Economic Development Council (AEDC). Prior to the merger, Finkle served for 15 years as president and CEO of CUED. During that time, he oversaw the vast expansion of that organization's membership and influence, as well as strengthening its financial footing.
Before assuming leadership of CUED, Finkle was the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development for program management. From 1981-86, he supervised the Urban Development Action Grant Program, the Community Development Block Grant Program and the Housing Rehabilitation program.
Jeffrey Finkle received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Ohio University in Athens. He then pursued graduate studies in business administration at Ohio State University. In addition, he heads the Bollinger Foundation, a non-profit organization he founded that provides support to children who have lost one or both parents who worked in the economic development profession.
The Honorable Dr. Patrick D. Gallagher, Under Secretary for Standards and Technology, Director of the National Institute for Standards and Technology, performing the duties of Deputy Secretary of Commerce, United States Department of Commerce, Washington, DC
Since January 1, 2014, Dr. Patrick Gallagher has served as Under Secretary for Standards & Technology, Director of the National Institute for Standards & Technology and has been performing the duties of the Deputy Secretary of Commerce since Dr. Rebecca Blank's departure last year.
Gallagher was confirmed as the 14th Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on Nov. 5, 2009. He also serves as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, a new position created in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. Prior to his appointment as NIST Director, Gallagher served as Deputy Director since 2008.
Gallagher provides high-level oversight and direction for NIST. The agency promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology. NIST's FY 2013 budget includes $778.0* million in direct and transfer appropriations, an estimated $49.7 million in service fees and $120.6 million from other agencies. The agency employs about 3,000 scientists, engineers, technicians, support staff, and administrative personnel at two main locations in Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo. NIST also hosts about 2,700 associates from academia, industry, and other government agencies, who collaborate with NIST staff and access user facilities. In addition, NIST partners with more than 1,300 manufacturing specialists and staff at more than 400 MEP service locations around the country.
Gallagher received his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor's degree in physics and philosophy from Benedictine College.
Ms. Alison Germak is the Director of Corporate Development in the Small & Medium Enterprise Finance department at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the primary agency of the U.S. Government tasked with facilitating U.S. private investment into emerging markets. In this role, Ms. Germak is responsible for counseling U.S. companies seeking financing, evaluating investment proposals, and developing new business opportunities for the Agency. Ms. Germak is also responsible for leading her department's outreach efforts to the U.S. business community and cultivating relationships with key federal and local partners. From 2004 to 2010, Ms. Germak served as a Public Affairs Specialist in OPIC's Office of External Affairs designing and implementing communication and outreach campaigns for which she won several awards. Ms. Germak is a frequent speaker and contributor at conferences on international business and development.
Ms. Germak holds a M.A. in International Commerce and Policy with an emphasis in Global Business from George Mason University's School of Public Policy, where she presently serves as Assistant Vice President on the board of the school's Alumni Chapter. She is the recipient of the school's 2010 David Ricardo Trade Award, given to the graduate representing exceptional academic ability, involvement, and promise in the fields of commerce and trade. Ms. Germak graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Susquehanna University and has studied abroad at Oxford University.
In July 1990, Richard Ginsburg joined the SBA as a business development specialist in the Office of Entrepreneurial Development. He is a former small business operator (women's retail clothing) and bank-marketing officer. In his current position, Mr. Ginsburg serves as the Public Affairs Officer for the Office of International Trade and directs the efforts of the Trade Promotion and International Affairs Branch in the Office of International Trade. He participates in numerous international trade conferences, seminars and webinars in support of the National Export Initiative and works with small businesses in encouraging them to go global. He has been a keynote speaker on economic development at several domestic and international conferences on small business.
Mr. Ginsburg has also provided Agency briefings at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, where new assignees in the Foreign Commercial Service (U.S. Dept. of Commerce) and the Foreign Service (US Dept. of State) receive their training before transferring to U.S. embassies around the world. He has also provided inter-agency briefings on SBA programs, participated as a member of the U.S. Trade Representative's Trade Capacity Building group during Free Trade Agreement negotiations, and represents SBA as the staff representative to the President's Export Council and APEC's Small Business Working Group.
Before entering Federal service, Mr. Ginsburg operated a 12-store chain of women's apparel stores and later was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for three different savings banks.
Mr. Ginsburg earned a Bachelor of Science degree, University of Maryland, College Park; major course study emphasis on marketing, commerce and consumer studies. He is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Lafayette Federal Credit Union and Chairman of the Credit Union's Loan and Membership Committees; a volunteer for the Montgomery County Chapter of the American Red Cross; a member of the National Business Incubation Association; and a Lifetime Member of the Disabled American Veterans (Vietnam.)
Earl F. Gohl was unanimously confirmed as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) by the U.S. Senate on March 10, 2010. He is the eleventh federal co-chair to be appointed since the Commission was established by an act of Congress in 1965.
Gohl came to ARC with 20 years of experience in Pennsylvania state and local government. From 1975 to 1995, he held positions including executive assistant to the mayor of Harrisburg; elected member of the Harrisburg City Council; deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs; and director of the Pennsylvania governor's Washington office. As deputy secretary, Gohl awarded and administered $100 million annually in housing and community development programs benefiting communities within the Appalachian Region. He also managed several initiatives to strengthen the capacity of rural local governments to meet economic challenges.
From 1996 to 2001, Gohl served as a special assistant, and then as an associate assistant secretary, at the U.S. Department of Labor. There he was responsible for the development and implementation of legislative strategy in the areas of immigration policy, employment standards, affirmative action and federal workers' compensation programs, and international affairs, including child labor and core labor standards.
From 2001 to 2009, Gohl was the director of government relations/deputy director for the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, where he formulated legislative and executive branch initiatives related to taxes, economic security, health care, education, nutrition, environment, homeland security, labor, housing, and transportation.
In his Senate confirmation hearing, Gohl stated that his objective as ARC federal co-chair would be to ensure that each federal dollar expended by the Commission was "an investment in the economic future of Appalachian families that will generate a return for American taxpayers."
Gohl holds a bachelor of arts degree from Rider College (now Rider University) in New Jersey and a master of public administration degree from Pennsylvania State University.
Don Graves advises President Obama on strengthening the nation's economy and the competitiveness of the United States, and on ways to create jobs, opportunity, and prosperity for the American people. He was appointed by the President as Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at the White House. Mr. Graves has also been appointed by the President to lead the Administration's efforts in the city of Detroit, coordinating and facilitating the federal government's investment in Detroit and working with City, State, Business, Non-profit and community stakeholders. In addition, Mr. Graves is the United States Representative to the G8 Task Force on Social Impact Investment.
Mr. Graves also currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In this role, Mr. Graves manages a portfolio of policy issues including business and small business finance and development, housing finance, community and economic development, capital access, job creation and issues related to underserved communities. In addition, Mr. Graves oversees the Small Business Lending Fund, the State Small Business Credit Initiative and the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Previously, he served as a partner with Graves, Horton, Askew & Johns, LLC. He is the former Director of Public Policy for the Business Roundtable, and was previously a Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Domestic Finance.
Mr. Graves holds degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Williams College and Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center where he received the Dean’s Award. He served as volunteer Chief Executive Officer of Progress Through Business, a national nonprofit focused on economic development, supporting lower-income employees and sustainability. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Community Reinvestment Fund and Board of Directors of the Center on Business and Poverty, the Advisory Boards of Wall Street Without Walls, and the Greater Washington Board of Trade’s Small Business Network.
Todd Greene is vice president in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Greene's responsibilities include providing leadership, strategic direction, and oversight for the community and economic development division and for the Americas Center. He is also the co-director of the Atlanta Fed's Center for Human Capital Studies.
The community and economic development division supports the Fed's monetary policy function as well as community and economic development activities, community reinvestment, and fair lending throughout the Sixth District. Addressing a broad range of development topics including small business, neighborhood stabilization, and workforce and employment, the division undertakes research and analysis and identifies best practices, builds partnerships, and provides training and technical assistance to financial institutions, community and economic development organizations, government agencies, and policymakers.
The Americas Center seeks to understand, cooperate and coordinate with, and respond effectively to changes in Latin American, Caribbean, and Spanish financial institutions and markets. Its mission involves better supervising constituencies, strengthening the Federal Reserve System's and Sixth Federal Reserve District's voice and influence in hemispheric policymaking, and adding value to evolving regional payment processing.
The Center for Human Capital Studies intends to enhance the understanding of human capital development and labor market issues. The center's broad focus is on the interaction between labor markets and the health and education sectors and the associated human capital development and workforce policies derived from such enhanced understanding.
Before joining the Atlanta Fed in 2008, Greene held leadership roles in the private, government, and educational sectors. Most recently he was a member of the general faculty at Georgia Tech where, at various times, he served as center director and oversaw research and programs related to applied economic development including the Program in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and the Center for Manufacturing Information Technology.
Currently, Greene is on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council. He is a past president of the Georgia Economic Developers Association. His previous board and advisory council experience includes the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, and the SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.
Greene is a graduate of the 2011 Leadership Atlanta, 2009 Leadership Georgia, and 2003 Buckhead Business Association programs. In 2002, he obtained the Certified Economic Developer designation (CEcD). Greene earned a bachelor's degree in English and American literature and language from Harvard University and master's degrees in human resources management from Washington University and public administration from Georgia State University.
Donna Harris is a four-time entrepreneur and cofounder of 1776. Prior to 1776, Donna served as the Managing Director at the Startup America Partnership, where she architected and led the Startup Regions Initiative, which focused on accelerating the formation of vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems across the United States and connecting the communities into a national startup ecosystem.
Prior to joining Startup America, Donna was Vice Chair of Interpoint Group, a government markets, government relations, and public affairs strategy and management firm, which generated nearly $8 billion in revenue while passing or defeating legislation, and executed public affairs campaigns for corporations, non-profits, foundations, and governments globally. She was also previously Founder and CEO of Kinderstreet, which sold SaaS solutions in the education, sports, and recreation markets. She was also Vice President of Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Product Management for Centromine, a provider of web-based clinical and fiscal systems in the Health and Human Services industry.
Donna is a Member of the GEW Global Board, a Board Member of the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Georgetown University and an alumna of Springboard Enterprises. She holds a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University and MBA from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Mr. Michael K. Jackson currently serves as the Director of City/State Partners at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), an independent agency of the federal government. In this role, he creates and manages marketing partnerships with local, state, and regional economic development organizations across the nation to expand export opportunities for small businesses. He is also responsible for conducting training seminars and participating in various marketing outreach activities to educate U.S. exporters, foreign buyers and multipliers about Ex-Im Bank's programs. In addition to his duties at Ex-Im Bank, the Mr. Jackson is also an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery College where he instructs a course on small business exporting.
Immediately prior to joining Ex-Im Bank, Mr. Jackson served as the District International Trade Officer at the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Baltimore District Office where he conducted export-focused training workshops and seminars for SMEs, financial institutions, trade associations and economic development organizations. He also advised and assisted SMEs interested in beginning to export or expanding into new foreign markets.
Prior to beginning his career with the federal government, Mr. Jackson held sales and marketing positions with several large corporations in the banking and ICT industries. He is also a former small business owner. Mr. Jackson is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served in Ramstein, Germany and Warner Robins, Georgia.
Mr. Jackson earned an MBA in International Business from American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, GA and a B.S. in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland - University College Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. He also holds the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) international trade certification. Mr. Jackson is a member of NASBITE International, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
Jorianne Jernberg is the Team Lead for Credit Analysis and Budgeting at the Department of Transportation's TIFIA Credit Program. TIFIA stands for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, and through this lending program, the Department provides credit assistance to surface transportation projects of regional and national significance. Ms. Jernberg's primary duties include leading the team performing credit analysis for the purposes of quantifying the government's risk in providing credit assistance. Ms. Jernberg also manages the TIFIA Program's budget, assists with the review of letters of interest from projects seeking TIFIA assistance, and supports the Department of Transportation's Credit Council. During her nearly six years with the TIFIA Credit Program, Ms. Jernberg has assisted in the closing of 27 transactions totaling more than $11 billion in TIFIA credit assistance that will support almost $40 billion in infrastructure investment across the U.S.
Prior to joining TIFIA, Ms. Jernberg was employed at the Federal Transit Administration where she worked on the budget and innovative finance programs. Ms. Jernberg has both a Master's degree in Public Administration and a certificate in Urban Economic Development from Cleveland State University's Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.
Barry W. Johnson is the Senior Associate Dean in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia. He is also the L. A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering. He is founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Safety-Critical Systems. In 1998 he was a founder of Privaris, Inc. While on leave from the University of Virginia from 2002 to 2006 he served as Chairman, President, and CEO of Privaris, and he continues to serve as Chairman. He represents the University of Virginia on the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) and served as its founding Chairman, President, and Executive Director. He also represents the University of Virginia on the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems and currently serves as Chairman. Previously he was with Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida where he designed and analyzed fault-tolerant computer systems for aerospace applications.
His research and teaching interests include biometrics, embedded system security, fault-tolerant computing, safety-critical systems, system testing, and system modeling and analysis. He is the author of two textbooks including The Design and Analysis of Fault-Tolerant Digital Systems, published by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, and The Co-Design of Embedded Systems: A Unified Hardware/Software Representation, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers. He is also the author of 9 book chapters and more than 150 journal and conference articles. He is an inventor on 25 issued patents and more than 35 applications currently pending.
Dr. Johnson has been very active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) as a member of the IEEE Board of Directors (1999-2000), the IEEE Executive Committee (2000), the IEEE Computer Society Executive Committee (1988-2000), and the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors (1988-2000). He has also served within the IEEE Computer Society as President (1997), Vice President for Publications (1993-1994), Vice President for Conferences and Tutorials (1992), Vice President for Press Activities (1991), Vice President for Membership Activities (1989-1990), and Treasurer (1988, 1995). He also served as Treasurer of the IEEE Technical Activities Board (1990). Finally, he served as Chair of the Computer Society’s IEEE Fellow Evaluation Committee in 2001. He has also served on the IEEE Fellows Committee from 2000-2002 and 2008-2011 and as Vice Chair for 2008 and 2009.
Dr. Johnson received the B.S., M.E., and Ph.D degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1979, 1980, and 1983, respectively. He is a Fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to fault-tolerant computing. He is also a member of the IEEE Computer Society, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. His major awards include the 1992 C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Young Electrical Engineering Professor Award from Eta Kappa Nu, the 1991 Frederick Emmons Terman Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, a 1992 Alan Berman Research Publications Award from the Department of the Navy, a 1990 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, election to the Raven Society in 2007, a 1997 David A. Harrison Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Virginia, and the 2011 Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Virginia Engineering Foundation.
Paul Krutko is Ann Arbor SPARK's president and CEO. Ann Arbor SPARK is a public-private partnership of business, government and academic institutions working to create economic prosperity in the Ann Arbor region.In his role as CEO, he leads the organization's efforts to expand the regional economy through initiatives to support entrepreneurs and early stage companies accelerating their growth to full potential. SPARK also supports the retention, expansion and attraction of mature companies that will grow the region's GDP. SPARK convenes the Ann Arbor region's public-private leaders and other stakeholders to implement a strategic framework designed to maintain and to enhance the region's global competitiveness.
Paul has 35 years of economic and community expertise. Before joining Ann Arbor SPARK, he led San Jose, California's economic development efforts, where he served as chief development officer. He has also worked in economic development for the cities of Cleveland OH and Jacksonville FL. In addition to his economic development leadership for San Jose and other cities, Paul founded Peloton Development, a consultancy devoted to advising businesses and municipal, regional, state and national governments on economic development and climate prosperity strategies and on creating high performing economic development leaders and teams.
He earned a Bachelor of Urban Planning and Design degree from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture and Art. In addition to his responsibilities as SPARK CEO, Paul Krutko is honored to serve as chair of the preeminent professional economic development organization in the world, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He was designated a Fellow Member of IEDC in 2009.
John Ladd became Administrator of the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) in January 2008. As OA Administrator, John has responsibility for oversight of the National Registered Apprenticeship System.
The National Registered Apprenticeship System operates in cooperation with State agencies, businesses, industry, employers, employer associations, labor and management organizations and educational institutions. It is the nationally recognized credentialing system for skilled and technical occupational training programs with almost 500,000 active apprentices in the U.S.
Prior to his appointment as Administrator, John served as the Deputy Administrator for the Office of National Response and the Director of Regional Management in the Office of Field Operations. John has been in numerous leadership positions for major ETA initiatives including Workforce Innovations in Regional Economic Development (WIRED), InnovatETA and ETA's Transformational Forums. John has received numerous awards and honors while at ETA including being selected for the inaugural class of ETA's Excellence in Leadership Program. John also has extensive experience in ETA's Regional Offices having spent a number of years in the Boston Regional Office working with workforce development programs in New England. John first came to the Department of Labor as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1993.
John also has experience at the local level of the public workforce system having worked in Boston, MA and Stamford, CT.
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Ladd received his Bachelor's Degree from Boston University and his Master's in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Michael Langley is the founding CEO of GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership. GREATER MSP leads global promotion, regional strategy, and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region, with over three million residents and a Gross Metropolitan Product of over $200 Billion. He brings years of experience to the role as a widely recognized economic development strategist who has also led successful regional economic development organizations in Florida and Pennsylvania.
Michael's award winning work as a practitioner includes his leadership as CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, often regarded as a globally leading organizational model for regional economic development, regional advocacy, and public policy research. It also includes the founding of Langley Group, a national economic development consulting firm focused on regional best practices and economic growth strategies, where Michael served as President.
Prior to becoming an economic development practitioner, Michael led a successful corporate career, spent primarily in the technology sector working in leadership positions for a number of Westinghouse/CBS divisions, including serving as President and CEO of Westinghouse Audio Intelligence Devices, Inc., a world leader in wireless surveillance technology.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mike also earned a MS in information systems from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He served as a Navy pilot with more than 5,000 hours of flight and crew time on surveillance and intelligence missions worldwide and as a technology analyst on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate in Humanities by American Intercontinental University for his work in community improvement.
Debra Lyons was recently named as Vice President of Community and Economic Development for ACT, Inc., Workforce Development Division. In this position, she will lead a national effort to provide community based workforce solutions to states to drive economic growth and greater productivity. Prior to this role, she served as the Executive Director for the Governor's Office of Workforce Development for Governor Sonny Perdue. She was responsible for advising the Governor on workforce development policy and implementing initiatives to strengthen the state's workforce development enterprise. The office provides a platform for collaboration among Georgia's principle workforce development stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. Additionally, the office provides staffing support for the State Workforce Development Board, of which Lyons served as executive director. Most recently she served as Executive Director for Workforce Development Strategies for the Technical College System of Georgia prior to joining ACT.
Lyons oversaw not only the start-up of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development, but was the pioneer and architect of Georgia Work Ready, a one-of-kind workforce development system that links education and workforce development and aligns to the economic development needs of the state, its regions and communities. Georgia Work Ready is built on the state's voluntary workforce assessment system measuring “real world” skills that employers believe are critical to job success. Work Ready is the only initiative of its kind to be conducted through a partnership between a state government and state chamber of commerce, ensuring that companies can more reliably match the right people with the right jobs. The initiative is based on a skills assessment and certification for job seekers, a job profiling system for businesses, a community effort to certify a county's workforce and a regional effort to develop talent pools aligned to growth industries. By identifying both the needs of business and the available skills of Georgia's workforce, the state can more effectively generate the right talent for the right jobs. Georgia Work Ready was recently honored with the Governor's Award for Customer Service - 2008 Team Excellence, the Technology Association of Georgia's Excalibur Award, 2008, the Georgia Bio Community Award, 2009 and the ACT Community Award, 2009.
Lyons is the former owner of Debra Lyons Technical Consulting, a small consulting firm. Prior to starting her own business, she worked as an industrial training specialist. Lyons also previously held the position of associate professor in engineering technology and worked as a design engineer for a major defense contractor.
Lyons recently served on the state board for the Technical College System of Georgia where she helped establish a cross-education board committee to help build more collaboration among Georgia's education partners. She was appointed to the Southern Growth Policies Board's Council for a New Economy Workforce by Governor Perdue in May, 2010 and was nominated to the Board for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 2011. She holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and a master's degree in mechanical engineering.
Mr. Marinucci's career encompasses more than 30 years of economic development experience. Mr. Marinucci, who currently serves as President & CEO of Downtown Cleveland Alliance, has expertise in strategic planning, real estate development, business retention and attraction, commercial and retail investment, economic development financing, business development marketing, and regional and national policy development.
Working closely with neighborhood based partners as well as strategic partners, the Alliance oversees numerous initiatives designed to improve the pedestrian experience and attract new investment to Downtown Cleveland. Programs include business development and marketing initiatives, major festival events and managing 55 Ambassadors who keep downtown clean and safe on a daily basis. Prior to being named DCA's President in 2006, Mr. Marinucci served as President and Executive Vice President of Downtown Cleveland Partnership, DCA's predecessor organization, and managed the creation of the largest downtown special assessment district in the state of Ohio.
Mr. Marinucci has also held senior economic development positions with the City of Cleveland and the Ohio Department of Development and served as Vice President of Real Estate Development for Cleveland's PlayhouseSquare Foundation, Mr. Marinucci directed real estate activities for the country's second largest theater district.
Mr. Marinucci has served as Chairman of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest economic development practitioner organization in the world and also served as treasurer for the National Council for Urban Economic Development.
Since January 2009, Ms. Marrett served as NSF's acting Director, acting Deputy Director, and Senior Advisor, until her confirmation as Deputy Director in May 2011. Before January 2009, Marrett was the Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources (EHR). In EHR, she led NSF's mission to achieve excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels, in both formal and informal settings.
From 1992 to 1996, she served as the first Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate. Marrett earned NSF's Distinguished Service Award for her groundbreaking leadership of the new directorate. From 2001 to 2007, Marrett was the University of Wisconsin System's Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. She also served concurrently as Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before joining the University of Wisconsin, she was the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
As the recently appointed Executive Director for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Michael Masserman is in charge of operationalizing the President's National Export Initiative (NEI). The NEI is an initiative that President Obama laid out in his 2010 State of the Union to double exports by the end of 2014. In this role, Michael also oversees the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, which is made up of the relevant trade agencies within the U.S. Government. In addition to helping drive a "whole of government" approach to the NEI, Michael coordinates closely with private-sector companies, trade associations, chambers of commerce, and institutions such as Brookings, on global trade/export policies.
Prior to his current role, Michael served as the Director of the Office of Advisory Committees within the Department of Commerce, where he managed over 20 different committees, including the President's Export Council, that advise the President, Secretary of Commerce and the USTR on the formulation and implementation of trade policies. With more than 500 private sector advisors, these committees provide a critical link between the economic interests of U.S. industries and the broader public policy concerns of the U.S. Government.
Michael began his career practicing international corporate law at Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett in New York, where his focus was primarily on domestic and cross-border capital markets and securities transactions. After a number of years at Simpson Thatcher, he moved to Sydney, Australia where he worked at the law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques and specialized in international mergers and acquisitions as well as international corporate finance.
Michael has broad experience in cross-border transactions having advised clients and companies across many industries and regions, including South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. His experience includes working on international deals where he's represented investment banks, hedge funds, private-equity firms, and an array of manufacturing and services companies. He has worked with pulp manufacturers, wireless telecommunications companies, and major airlines, as well as companies who produce medical transcription devices, natural gas transmission systems, and electrical and fiber optic connectors.
Michael took a leave of absence from his law firm in Australia to join the Obama campaign, where he worked on the political, field and constituency teams in a number of states. After the campaign, he worked as a business development consultant for a start-up company where, among other tasks, he worked on enhancing the global supply chain strategy for the company.
Michael received his B.A. with distinction from the University of Michigan and his J.D. cum laude from University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Christopher A. Masingill was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2010, and serves as the Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, a federal-state partnership whose mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives in the 252 counties and parishes in the eight states of the Delta region. Chairman Masingill has extensive experience in community and economic development and developing strategic connections between the public and private sectors.
Prior to leading the Delta Regional Authority, Masingill served the state of Arkansas as Governor Mike Beebe's Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and during that time as the Arkansas Recovery Implementation Director for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which totaled over $2 Billion in Arkansas. While in Governor Beebe's office, Chairman Masingill also served as the principal staff between the Governor's Office and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors' Association, the Delta Regional Authority, and the State Coordinators for Economic Recovery.
In his three years with the Delta Regional Authority, Masingill has worked with the Governors of the Delta states to leverage $66.3 million into more than $1.1 billion in private and other public sector investment; helping to create and retain 17,000 jobs within the region. During a time of economic duress in our nation, Chairman Masingill has placed a greater emphasis on supporting small business and entrepreneurship ventures as well as investing in workforce training and education efforts. His priority to increase economic development in the business sector with a focus on entrepreneurship has tripled prior DRA investment from $2.1 million to more than $7 million in three cycles. Additionally, the DRA has invested nearly $12 million in workforce development, more than doubling similar investments in the previous eight cycles.
Chris and his wife, Melissa, have two daughters, Mia and Ava, and reside in Little Rock.
Jennifer McNelly was named President of The Manufacturing Institute the non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), effective April 1, 2012. As President of the Institute, Jennifer will drive an agenda focused on improving and expanding manufacturing in the United States through education, innovation, and research.
Jennifer has extensive experience in workforce development, employer engagement, and business. She is a proven leader at the Institute as the chief architect of one of the organization's flagship initiatives, the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. A set of nationally portable, industry-recognized manufacturing skills certifications, the System is building the next generation of skilled manufacturing employees by influencing secondary and post-secondary education reform efforts in over 35 states which is building the next generation of skilled manufacturing talent.
Prior to joining the Institute, Jennifer, a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), was Administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor's Office (DOL) Office of Regional Innovation and Transformation. She also served as the Director of the Business Relations Group for the DOL Employment and Training Administration. In this capacity, she managed the President's High-Growth Job Training Initiative and the Community-Based Job Training Grants. Her strong private-sector experience includes serving as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, LLC, an international consulting firm specializing in assisting Fortune 500 corporations build strategic partnerships with government agencies in support of workforce development.
Jennifer is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Advanced Manufacturing; the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Personnel Certification Accreditation Committee; the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Education Foundation; and the SME Education Foundation Board.
Ann Marie Mehlum is a member of the senior leadership team at the SBA, and is responsible for balancing the need to make capital available to small businesses, with the obligation to provide appropriate monitoring and oversight to protect taxpayer dollars, and ensure program sustainability. Ann Marie oversees the operation of a network of programs and services, such as its 7(a) and 504 loan programs, that make capital available to small business borrowers, working primarily through financing partners to reach those seeking to start new businesses or expand existing enterprises.
Jason Miller is the Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy, working within the National Economic Council in the White House to lead the Administration's efforts to coordinate policy and federal activities supporting U.S. manufacturing. He joined the Obama Administration in April 2010. Prior to joining the Administration, Mr. Miller advised global companies as a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco. He worked with senior executives in the energy and technology manufacturing sectors on strategic, operational, and organizational issues. Earlier in his career, Mr. Miller was at Marakon Associates, a boutique consulting firm, where he provided business advice on corporate finance and strategic issues in manufacturing, healthcare, and energy companies. Mr. Miller originally hails from Chicago, Illinois. He received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a M.P.A. from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Theodore H. Moran, nonresident senior fellow, has been associated with the Peterson Institute since 1998. He holds the Marcus Wallenberg Chair at the School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University. He is the founder of the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy at the university and serves as director there. He also serves as a member of Huawei's International Advisory Council. From 2007 to 2013 he served as Associate to the US National Intelligence Council on international business issues.
His books include Outward Foreign Direct Investment and US Exports, Jobs, and R&D: Implications for US Policy (2013), Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: Benefits, Suspicions, and Risks with Special Attention to FDI from China (2013), Foreign Direct Investment and Development: Launching a Second Generation of Policy Research: Avoiding the Mistakes of the First, Reevaluating Policies for Developed and Developing Countries (2011), China's Strategy to Secure Natural Resources: Risks, Dangers, and Opportunities (2010), Three Threats: An Analytical Framework for the CFIUS Process (2009), Harnessing Foreign Direct Investment for Development: Policies for Developed and Developing Countries (Center for Global Development, 2006), Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Development? (coedited with Magnus Blomstrom and Edward Graham, 2005), International Political Risk Management: Exploring New Frontiers (World Bank, 2005), Beyond Sweatshops: Foreign Direct Investment, Globalization, and Developing Countries (Brookings Institution, 2002), and Foreign Investment and Development (1998).
In 1993-94 he was senior adviser for economics on the Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State. He returned to Georgetown University after the North American Free Trade Agreement and Uruguay Round negotiations. He is a consultant to the United Nations, governments in Asia and Latin America, and international business and financial communities. In 2000 he was appointed counselor to the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank Group. In 2002 he was chairman of the Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards of the National Academy of Sciences.
Doug O'Brien was appointed Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development. Prior to his appointment, he served as Senior Advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. Before joining the United States Department of Agriculture, Doug served as the Assistant Director at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, where he assisted in such areas as plant industries, animal health, and its laboratories. In addition, he was responsible for developing the department's biofuels, bioproducts, and renewable energy policy. Doug is also a former counsel for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, where he worked on the 2002 Farm Bill.
Kerry has over 25 years of expertise in policy development and implementation, management, Congressional, state and local governmental relations, coalition building and issue advocacy. She most recently served as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Previously she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). While at DOT, Kerry was part of a select team that worked to educate state and local leaders as well as the business community in targeted states about how to develop public-private partnerships and innovative ways to address traffic congestion.
Michael Olivier is the CEO of the Louisiana Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc. The Committee of 100 is a private sector non-profit business advocacy group intent on building coalitions and partnerships to bring business and economic development to Louisiana. The membership is comprised of the CEOs of leading private sector companies statewide as well as University Presidents in Louisiana.
Mr. Olivier served as Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development to Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco from 2004 to 2008. His appointment won praise from Louisiana business leaders and national and international leaders in the field of economic development, who have called him aggressive, experienced and knowledgeable. He won the American Economic Development Council's Distinguished Service Award in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He has been president of the Southern Economic Development Council and a ten year board member and officer of the American Economic Development Council to which he was named a Fellow Member and Honorary Life Member. Business Week named him Mississippi's Economic Developer of the Year in 1999, and in 2002, Southern Business and Development magazine named him one of the “Top 10 Economic Developers of the Decade”. In 2005 Olivier led Louisiana Economic Development to achieve the ISO 9001 certification and the IEDC Accredited Economic Development Organization designation, both “firsts in the nation” for a state economic development agency.
In 2006 and 2007, Olivier was named as “One of the Top 10 in the U.S. to make a difference in Economic Development” by Southern Business and Development magazine. His work lead Louisiana to be named “State of the Year” for the first time by Southern Business and Development magazine.
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) named Olivier as the 2006 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Economic Development. CORENET Global gave Louisiana Economic Development the 2007 Economic Development Leadership Award in Strategies and Innovation for the business recovery work accomplished after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Olivier currently serves as Chairman of the Technology Advocacy Council for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and recently completed two years as the Chairman of the Louisiana Technology Council. He is a member of the Louisiana Innovation Council, a board member of the Louisiana Business Technology Center at LSU and a board member of the Louisiana Industrial Executives Association. He also serves as an advisory board member to Greystone CDE with New Markets Tax Credits allocations to help America "grow and rebuild" by providing financing and financial structuring support to community development projects. Olivier also serves on the Board of Future Pipe Industries USA, a subsidiary of a Dubai UAE based composite pipe manufacturing conglomerate.
Ron Painter is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Workforce Boards, assuming his role in July of 2009. Ron was the founding CEO of the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board in Pittsburgh, where under his leadership the organization focused on producing labor market research, working with public educators on improved student career information, supporting community leaders in the development of regional benchmarks, and establishing the Regional Workforce Collaborative whose membership includes community colleges, WIBs, employers, labor, and economic development professionals. Before joining the Three Rivers Workforce Board, he worked in Washington, DC, first on loan to the U.S. Department of Labor for the Enterprise Project, and then for the National Alliance of Business. Mr. Painter holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Grove City College in Pennsylvania and a Master's in Public Administration and advanced graduate coursework from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public & International Affairs, where he served as Adjunct Faculty.
Diane Palmintera is founder and President of Innovation Associates. For more than 30 years she has been a national leader in innovation-based economic development, and is best known for leveraging universities and federal labs to stimulate regional economic competitiveness. She has guided national, state and local leaders, university presidents, federal lab directors, and international organizations on innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer and commercialization, public-private partnerships, and federal-state relations.
She has provided services and assessed best practices throughout the U.S. and more than 16 countries. Her clients include the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, Connecticut Governor's Office, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Akron, University of Connecticut, Commission of the European Community, French and Swedish governments and others. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, (UK) Financial Times, and other media.
Ms. Palmintera also is a well-known author. Endorsed by national leaders, Technology Transfer and Commercialization Partnerships provides a roadmap for academic institutions to launch technology startups. She is the author of other nationally acclaimed work: Accelerating Economic Development through University Technology Transfer, Developing High-Technology Communities: San Diego, Partners on a Mission: Federal Laboratories Contributing to Economic Development, and Best Practices in U.S., European and Asian Innovation Development.
Prior to founding IA in 1988, Ms. Palmintera held positions with the National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and National Alliance of Business, and was an Associate of the Urban Institute. Ms. Palmintera serves on IEDC's Board of Directors, and is former Chair of IEDC's Public Policy Advisory Committee.
Luis M. Proenza is President of The University of Akron and a national leader in science and technology policy. Prior joining Akron, Proenza was Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at Purdue University and, previously, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research at the University of Alaska. He served on the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (U.S. Presidential appointment); U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board; NAS-NRC Committee on Vision; National Biotechnology Policy Board; as Advisor for Science and Technology Policy to Alaska's Governor; and on the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
He currently serves on the executive committee and National Innovation Initiative Leadership Council of the Council on Competitiveness; Council on Foreign Relations; The National Academies' Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable; the Technology Innovation Program Advisory Board for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the board of the States Science and Technology Institute. He is Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities co-chair of the APLU/AAU Patent Reform Committee.
Bill Ritter was elected as Colorado's 41st governor in 2006. During his 4 year term, he established Colorado as a national and international leader in renewable energy by building a New Energy Economy that is creating thousands of new jobs, and establishing hundreds of new companies. Governor Ritter enacted an aggressive business-development and job-creation agenda that is focused on knowledge-based industries of the future, such as energy, aerospace, biosciences, information technology and tourism.
Javier is the SBA's Associate Administrator for the Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) and is part of the SBA's senior leadership team. He leads the agency's Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program and its Early Stage Investing and Impact Investing initiatives, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.
He joins the SBA with 20 years of global general management, principal investing, strategic consulting and entrepreneurial experience. Most recently he was an Advisor to a California-based impact investing and advisory firm, Pacific Community Ventures, and an Advisor to a Colorado-based $1.3 billion family office, Aspen Grove Capital. Concurrently to these, he was a Partner at Brand Maestro LLC, a New York City-based brand strategy firm.
Prior to that, he was a Managing Director of The GEM Group, a principal investment firm focused on making private equity, venture capital and structured investments in emerging markets around the world. Before GEM, Javier was a Partner at Pollen Design, an industrial design firm and a co-founder of Atenergy, a company in the solar energy space. He also held positions at Bridgewater Associates, a $130 billion macro hedge fund, and Paradigm Ventures LP, a Chicago-based venture capital firm. While at Paradigm, he co-founded, invested and was one of the first top operational executives of a national media & entertainment company.
Javier's foundational career years were spent at McKinsey & Company, Booz Allen & Hamilton and Abbott Laboratories.
He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS in Operations and Technology from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a BS in Industrial Management with a concentration in Manufacturing / Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.
William Sproull is President and CEO of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce (RCC), Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) and the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP). This unique and complex set of organizations he runs has two separate Board of Directors and a City Council to whom he reports.
He has led the revitalization of Richardson's telecom based economy through a focus on industry and technology diversification . He built the MTBC into the state of Texas's largest trade association for technology companies. He led the RCC in 2010 through the rigorous US Chamber Accreditation program successfully, earning the highest 5 Star rating conferred by the US Chamber for accreditation. Sproull and his REDP team are credited with bringing two catalyst economic development projects to Richardson: a 3,000 employee Bank of America operation in 2004, and a $3 billion Texas Instruments semiconductor factory in 2003.
In 2005, he helped lead a statewide coalition that got legislation passed in Texas to create the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a half-billion investment fund. Governor Rick Perry of Texas has appointed him to three consecutive two-year terms on the Fund's Advisory Committee, and appointed him as Chairman in 2010.
Previously he held senior economic development positions at the Greater Dallas Chamber, the McKinney Economic Development Corporation and at the EDC of Kansas City, Missouri. Sproull is a graduate of Baylor University, where he received a BA degree with a double major in Economics and Political Science.
Sproull is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council, and serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Texas at Dallas, the North Texas Regional Center for Innovation & Commercialization, the North Texas Commission, and the Technology Councils of North America.
Sproull's economic development accomplishments were recognized by the editors of Site Selection magazine when they selected the $3 billion Texas Instruments project as the Top Development Deal nationally of 2003; his economic development teams have been selected three times by Site Selection as one of the top 10 development groups in the U.S. in 1994, 1997 and 2004. He is a two-time recipient of the American Economic Development Council's “Best of Class” marketing award. In 2010, the International Economic Development Council designated him with the distinction of being a Fellow Member.
The Metroplex Technology Business Council inducted Sproull as the inaugural member of their Hall of Fame in 2010 by declaring him a Tech Titan.
Vinai Thummalapally serves as Executive Director of SelectUSA, part of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Established by Executive Order of the President, SelectUSA is the U.S. government-wide initiative to attract and retain business investment in the United States. As Executive Director, Ambassador Thummalapally manages the strategy and implementation of SelectUSA as it works to create jobs, spur economic growth, and promote American competitiveness. He also co-chairs, with the Director of the White House National Economic Council, the SelectUSA Interagency Investment Working Group to coordinate existing resources across the federal government to promote business investment and address federal regulatory barriers.
Ambassador Thummalapally brings a wealth of experience from both the private and public sectors. President Obama appointed him ambassador to Belize in 2009, where he served until 2013. In his role as Chief of Mission, Ambassador Thummalapally helped strengthen the bilateral relationship between the United States and Belize in the areas of citizen security, economic development, education, and health care. In addition, he found innovative ways to engage regional and international organizations and other embassies to promote the same.
Ambassador Thummalapally has had a distinguished 31-year career in the private sector. Prior to joining the foreign service, Ambassador Thummalapally served as President of MAM-A Inc., formerly Mitsui Advanced Media. MAM-A Inc. was the nation's leading manufacturer and distributor of archival recordable optical discs. During his fourteen year tenure the company became the benchmark of the optical disc manufacturing industry.
Ambassador Thummalapally also served as the plant manager of WEA Manufacturing Inc., a division of Time Warner Inc.; the Managing Director for Clines Printing and Office Products; and Manufacturing Manager of Disc Manufacturing, Inc. In addition to holding two U.S. patents for design of optical disc manufacturing, he has received several Outstanding Service awards for his professional accomplishments.
Originally from Hyderabad, India, Ambassador Thummalapally moved to the United States in 1974 to pursue his engineering studies. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University in 1977 and completed post graduate Business Administration courses from Cal State University in 1980 and University of Tennessee in 1995. He is also fluent in Telugu, Hindi and Urdu.
Ambassador Thummalapally and his wife Barbara have two children.
Elizabeth Wayman is the Director of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to her role at DOE, Ms. Wayman was the first employee at Alion, a solar company developing new ways to manufacture and deploy CdTe solar modules. At Alion, Ms. Wayman led both the process integration of the lab-scale solar cell research and development and transition of the technology from R&D to pilot production. Prior to Alion, Ms. Wayman was an R&D Engineer at SunPower, where she developed new products for utility-scale solar. Ms. Wayman is co-founder of STG International, a non-profit organization developing solar energy technologies for remote locations in developing countries. She earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT, and holds several patents and publications in clean energy technology.
Dr. Randy Woodson is the 14th chancellor of North Carolina State University. A nationally recognized leader in bridging the gap between vision and action, he has led the development and implementation of the university's strategic plan to improve student success, faculty excellence, and engagement and economic development. In addition to this transformative plan, Woodson has led a strategic realignment to mold the university for greater efficiency and effectiveness in the face of decreasing resources. His reputation for consensus-building has given voice to a diverse university community, creating opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration and unifying university constituents to focus on enhancing student success and the value of an NC State degree. These shifts will continue to guide the university as it unites and adapts a cherished tradition with the constantly evolving landscape of higher education.
During his tenure Woodson has overseen the largest private gift in university history. Through the creation of the Faculty Excellence Fund Woodson has inspired inventive faculty research rewarding creativity and entrepreneurship. Under his leadership, NC State remains the 3rd best value among public universities in the U.S. and, according to a Wall Street Journal study, ranks 19th overall by recruiters for nearly 500 public and private corporations, non-profits and federal agencies across the nation.
Woodson arrived at NC State from Purdue University, where he served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. He took on the role of provost in 2008, after serving nearly four years as the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. Prior to that, Woodson was the associate dean of agriculture and director of the Office of Agricultural Research Programs at Purdue from 1998 to 2004.
Woodson's career has been shaped by the land-grant university system, receiving a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Arkansas and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Cornell University. He joined the Purdue faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture. Prior to his administrative appointments, Woodson also served as head of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue and was a visiting scholar at the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse in France.
Over his decades-long career in higher education, Dr. Woodson has contributed a substantial body of knowledge to the field of plant science, which has been published in over 100 journal articles and book chapters. His research has covered topics such as plant genetics, molecular biology, biotechnology and sustainable bioproducts development, spanning the gap between the detailed science of plant physiology and the practical application of this knowledge in the field of horticulture. His research has been featured in stories published in BusinessWeek, The Futurist, and Discover.
Woodson has received a number of professional honors during his career, including the Purdue University Agriculture Research Award, the American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Researcher Career Award and the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, the highest award presented by the governor of Indiana for service. He is a fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science.