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New director of economic development and business innovation named

  • Julie Summs
    Julie Summs  Summs is an alumna of the Class of 1992. She will return to Williamsburg in January 2014 to be the director of economic development and business innovation for the college.  Courtesy image
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Julie Summs ‘92 has been named William & Mary’s new director of economic development and business innovation. Summs currently serves as county administrator for Orange County, Va., a position she has held since July 2009. She will return to her alma mater in January.

“Julie has a strong background in economic development at the state and local levels and extensive experience managing business processes in the public and private sectors,” said James R. Golden, vice president for strategic initiatives. “It’s wonderful to welcome a William & Mary graduate who has such an impressive record back to campus.  We are delighted that she is joining us and I’m sure she will hit the ground running.”

In her new role, Summs will be charged with continuing to forge connections with the private and public sectors that encourage collaborative research and promote economic development in the region and the Commonwealth. As the university’s primary point of contact with local, regional, state and national organizations on all projects related to economic development, the Office of Economic Development and Business Innovation is also tasked with stimulating new revenue opportunities and enhancing productivity in business processes at the university. Summs will lead that effort.

With Orange County since November 2005, she has also served as director of economic development and assistant county administrator. Prior to joining Orange County, Summs was vice president and then chief executive officer for Inge-Glas, USA. Before that, she rose through the ranks of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership – going from administrative staff specialist to associate manager in just six years.

Summs received a Bachelor of Arts degree from William & Mary, majoring in anthropology and psychology. She also holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Commonwealth University.

"I am honored to join the William & Mary team and thrilled to share my skills and efforts towards our economic development and business innovation endeavors,” said Summs.  “The College is not only an academic asset for the Commonwealth, it is also a globally respected historic institution long regarded for its forward-thinking ideals.  I look forward to working with its many partners."

The 2009 recipient of the John L. Stanley Award, Summs is the first government employee to receive this recognition awarded by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce in honor of significant contribution to their organization.

Her ties across the Commonwealth are many. Summs is a member of the International Economic Development Council, International City/County Management Association, Virginia Local Government Management Association, Virginia Economic Development Association, a Board and executive committee member with the Piedmont Workforce Network and chair of the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development. She is also currently commissioner of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Planning District.