The official who coordinated economic development efforts at UGA has moved to a new position, and her former duties have been assumed by the director of UGA’s BioBusiness Center.
Laura Meadows, who held the position of associate vice president for economic development since 2007, has joined 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, has taken on economic development responsibilities under a new title, associate provost for economic development and director of the Georgia BioBusiness Center.
The changes became effective June 1.
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 made her highly qualified to lead the division, according to Steve Wrigley, vice president for government affairs and director of the Vinson Institute.
“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 premiere 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.
The BioBusiness Center demonstrates how UGA contributes to economic growth in Georgia.
Dahl’s experience, according to Provost Arnett C. Mace Jr., will help develop new strategies for using the university’s strengths in areas such as biological and medical sciences, agriculture, business and natural resources to create jobs and bolster economies across 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.