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President Mary Sue Coleman accepts the Institutional Leadership Award from Bill Sproull (left), chairman of the International Economic Development Council, and Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. (Photo by Mike Waring, Washington Office)

Mary Sue Coleman, President of the University of Michigan, was awarded the Institutional Leadership Award by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), for her extraordinary efforts in promoting economic development.  The honor was presented during IEDC’s Federal Economic Development Forum, March 23-25 in Alexandria, VA.

“The Institutional Leadership Award celebrates a leader of a community institution, who plays a major leadership role in economic development pursuits,” said Bill Sproull, IEDC chair. “Ms. Coleman is a fine example of such an individual.”

The Institutional Leadership Award recognizes a leader of a community institution who has made significant contributions to the community in support of economic development.

As President of the University of Michigan for more than a decade, Mary Sue Coleman has been integral to the creation of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. The contributions she has made to student life, economic vitality, and innovation will undoubtedly continue to impact the university and community for generations to come.

“Mary Sue Coleman is a proven leader who is creating economic opportunity in Michigan. Her impact is measurable and positive; Coleman actively connects the public, private and academic sectors to the benefit of economic growth,” said Paul Krutko, IEDC past chair and President and Chief Executive Officer of Ann Arbor SPARK.

Faced with the immense challenge of a declining economy, Dr. Coleman recognized that Ann Arbor possessed many of the tools to necessarily create change.  This realization was the impetus to the creation of Ann Arbor SPARK in 2007. With the university acting as the primary supporter of the organization, SPARK has become a dynamic and successful economic development organization. The organization’s many successes include $1.4 billion in new investments to the area, nearly 12,000 jobs created, and assistance to over 400 innovative startup companies.

Dr. Coleman’s commitment to the region goes beyond her efforts with Ann Arbor SPARK. By partnering with Wayne State University and Michigan State University, she helped create a research partnership that contributes $15.5 billion annually in economic impact to the state. Her impressive efforts to transform the university’s research into future economic development drew the attention of the United States Commerce Department in 2010, which selected the University of Michigan as one of four locations for an innovation forum that discussed the role of universities in national economic development.

In addition to research, Dr. Coleman is an enthusiastic supporter of entrepreneurship. In 2011, the University established the Venture Accelerator and the Michigan Investment in New Technology Startups (MINTS), which use university resources to assist the growth of young businesses. Through these efforts, the University of Michigan ranks in the top 10 U.S. universities for startup production rate.

Due to the success of Ann Arbor SPARK and the University’s research expansion, Dr. Coleman was chosen as one of six university presidents by President Obama to launch the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. This national effort brings together universities, industries, and the federal government to promote American innovation and economic prosperity. Also impressed by Dr. Coleman’s efforts, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke named her as co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2010.

After more than a decade at the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman has set the bar nationwide for what university presidents can do to increase economic vitality in a region. Her ability to see the big picture and embrace new aspects of a modern economy makes Dr. Coleman a visionary leader. For this reason, International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2013 Institutional Leadership Award to Dr. Mary Sue Coleman.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base.  From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their