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Economic development duties at UGA to shift June 1

Economic development duties at UGA to shift June 1

Athens, Ga. – The official who coordinates University of Georgia economic development efforts is moving to a new position at UGA and her duties will be assumed by the director of the university’s BioBusiness Center.

Laura Meadows, who has held the position of associate vice president for economic development since 2007, will join the Carl Vinson Institute of Government as director of the Government Training, Education and Development division.

Margaret Wagner Dahl, who has headed the BioBusiness Center since it started in 2000, will take on economic development responsibilities under a new title, associate provost for economic development and director of the Georgia BioBusiness Center.

The changes, effective June 1, were announced by Arnett C. Mace Jr., senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Steve Wrigley, vice president for government affairs and director of the Vinson Institute.

The institute’s Government Training, Education and Development division provides dozens of professional development and training programs in leadership and management for elected and appointed local and state officials. Meadows’ extensive background in state government before joining UGA makes her highly qualified to lead the division, said Wrigley.

“Laura’s experience serving as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, assistant secretary of state and as the first executive director of the OneGeorgia Authority gives her a thorough understanding of how state government works and first-hand knowledge of the skills, abilities and information local and state officials need to do their jobs,” Wrigley said. “She will provide outstanding leadership for the Institute of Government’s premier training program.”

The Georgia BioBusiness Center is an “incubator” program that helps UGA faculty members turn their research into commercial ventures. Focusing mainly on research involving biotechnology, the center has assisted many start-up companies, some of which have grown to attain a national presence.

Mace said the BioBusiness Center demonstrates how UGA contributes to economic growth in Georgia. Dahl’s experience, he said, will help develop new strategies for using UGA’s strengths in such areas as biological and medical sciences, agriculture, business and natural resources to create jobs and strengthen economies around the state.

“I regret losing the service of Laura Meadows, who was providing excellent service to the university in economic development,” said Mace. “We are fortunate that Margaret Wagner Dahl is willing to assume this added responsibility. She is very talented and is highly respected in the economic development community in Georgia. This new role fits well with her responsibilities as director of the BioBusiness Center.”

Dahl has worked for 30 years in jobs involving technology transfer, intellectual property management and formation of start-up companies. Before coming to UGA, she was director of licensing in the technology transfer office at the University of Washington and director of operations for a technology incubator at the University of Texas.