Sean B. McMillan has been appointed director of economic development for the Atlanta office of UGA.
The appointment, effective July 16, was announced by Jennifer Frum, vice president for public service and outreach, and David Lee, vice president for research. Together they co-direct the university’s economic development efforts.
“UGA economic development programs play a vital role in supporting job creation in Georgia, which is an elemental part of UGA’s mission as a land-grant institution,” Frum said. “Sean is exceptionally well-qualified to oversee UGA’s Atlanta-based efforts in economic development.”
McMillan’s appointment is part of an ongoing expansion of UGA economic development efforts. The Atlanta office, located in the Centergy Building, will help to establish a closer link with Atlanta’s business sector, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, local chambers of commerce and universities, Frum said.
“Sean brings a distinguished track record in economic development to this position,” Lee said. “His proven ability to achieve measurable results and to establish and maintain strong relationships with both internal and external stakeholders will undoubtedly prove an asset to UGA as we strive for the continued economic betterment of the state.”
McMillan earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Auburn University in 1988 and his master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University in 2000. He joined the Georgia Department of Economic Development in 1992 as budget director and assistant director of administration, holding those titles until 2000. Over the following 10 years, he served as senior project manager, director of existing industry and recruitment and director of new business recruitment.
Since 2008, McMillan has played a key role with Georgia Quick Start, the state’s workforce development program, serving as director of regional and Kia project operations until his recent appointment at UGA.
“Economic development is essential to the state and its numerous communities, and I am very excited to join UGA in this capacity,” McMillan said. “By concentrating UGA’s economic development efforts in Atlanta and combining the collective resources of the university’s public service and outreach and research units, we will be able to fuel public service initiatives and apply research-driven innovation and, in turn, have a tremendous impact on the state.”
McMillan will partner with Margaret Wagner Dahl, associate vice president for economic development, to expand UGA’s commitment to economic development, including technology-based development.