Best Practices in Foreign Direct Investment and Exporting Based on Regional Industry Clusters Page Heading


Experienced professionals are key to the success of any community innovation and transformation effort. Our team of community innovation specialists includes experts with decades of experience in advising economic development and community leaders on how to stay competitive in an ever-changing global economy.

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Jan Youtie, Ph.D.

Principal Research Associate

Jan L. Youtie, Ph.D., is manager of policy services and principal research associate in Innovation Partners, a unit of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). She also is an adjunct professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy, teaches in the School of City and Regional Planning, and is a co-founder of the program in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy. Dr. Youtie’s research focuses on technology-based economic development, emerging-technology assessment, manufacturing competitiveness, regional innovation clusters, and innovation and knowledge measurement and evaluation. She has been principal investigator in studies sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Science Foundation, European Commission, U.N. Development Program, Aspen Institute, Southern Technology Council, and Georgia Research Alliance among others. Her research received the Lang Rosen Gold Award for best article by the Journal of Technology Transfer, and it also has appeared in Research Policy, Economic Development Quarterly, Technovation, Evaluation and Program Planning, Nature Nanotechnology, and many other journals. She holds a doctorate in political science from Emory University. ...more

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Alfie Meek, Ph.D.

Director of Community Innovation Services

Prior to joining Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute Dr. Meek was the economic analysis director for Gwinnett County, Georgia. Before that, he worked at The University of Georgia as the director of applied research for the Small Business Development Center. Prior to the position at UGA, Dr. Meek worked as a project director and economist for Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Institute. ...more

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Robert Lann

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Robert B. Lann has over three decades of experience in economic, simulation, public policy, energy, and technology transfer research. He is the past Director of Community Policy and Research Services, a division of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), and a principal research associate. Mr. Lann retired from EI2 in December 2010 and is now consulting and working part time for EI2. ...more

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Leigh Hopkins, AICP

Project Manager

Leigh Hopkins is a project manager bringing practical planning experience and a focus on sustainable growth to the communities she assists. Leigh works with her team to help create competitive and quality climates for Georgia communities and businesses to grow and thrive. Before joining Georgia Tech, Leigh worked in environmental and planning-related services as a consultant and as a senior urban planner for the city of Atlanta, with a focus on zoning compliance issues. ...more

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Jason Chernock

Project Manager

Jason Chernock is a project manager with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI²). His work includes identifying and applying innovative approaches to economic development, fostering public engagement and involvement, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, and conducting customized research for foundations and nonprofit organizations. ...more

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Candice C. McKie

Associate Project Manager

Candice C. McKie is an associate project manager with CIS. The newest team member, Candice is an economist with expertise in econometrics and fiscal and economic impact analysis. Prior to joining CIS, Candice worked as a program analyst for the Gwinnett County Division of Economic Analysis. Candice also worked with the University of Georgia’s Land Use Studies Initiative where she evaluated the impact of state tax reform proposals and co-authored a funding equity study of Gwinnett County and its municipal governments. ...more

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Dana Brewer

Director of Research, Global Commerce Georgia Department of Economic Development

Dana Brewer (née King) joined the Georgia Department of Economic Development as the Director of Research in August 2012. In this role, she leads the team which helps respond to prospect information requests and researches industry trends, business climate factors, and other considerations to support the state’s Global Commerce team. Global Commerce creates jobs for Georgians by recruiting companies in targeted industry sectors globally to encourage the establishment and expansion of their operations in the State of Georgia.

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Shiri M. Breznitz

Associate Project Manager

Shiri M. Breznitz's is an assistant professor at the school of Public policy at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research examines regional economic development with a focus on the role of universities. Current projects include: a collaborative international comparison of university science parks in the USA, UK, and Canada; a theoretical review project examining industrial clusters; and an ongoing international study on universities’ technology transfer (with Georgia Tech as the latest case completed). Dr. Breznitz’s previous work analyzed industry location, technology transfer, and economic development with a particular focus on the biotechnology industry. Moreover, Dr. Breznitz was a member of national committees in both Israel (2008) and France (2005) to review industrial and economic development policy....more