Saralyn Stafford, a community and economic developer with a 30-year career focused on Georgia, has joined UGA to link rural communities with the university’s vast knowledge and expertise.
Stafford will serve as a liaison between UGA and local elected officials, chambers of commerce, economic development professionals, school boards, non-profit organizations, small business owners and other community leaders.
Based in south Georgia’s Coffee County, her work focuses on connecting communities with UGA’s Public Service and Outreach units, including the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, the Small Business Development Center and the Archway Partnership, to assist in addressing community and regional challenges.
Stafford has a strong record of working in community and economic development across the state since 1987 with a focus on rural communities, particularly in southeast Georgia.
Most recently, she provided technical assistance and oversight for local and regional planning, research and surveys for local governments, downtown development, the state’s AmeriCorps program and the Keep Georgia Beautiful initiative as DCA’s division director for community development.
At UGA, Stafford will also offer her expertise in training government officials and community leaders and in strategic planning within rural communities.