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Press Release - New University Vice Chair

April 20, 2021

Council on Competitiveness Announces New University Vice Chair, Ms. Joan Gabel, President, University of Minnesota

Washington, DC — The Council on Competitiveness (Council) today announced Joan Gabel will become its next University Vice Chair, effective immediately. Ms. Gabel, President of the University of Minnesota, has been an active member of the Council and a National Commissioner in its flagship initiative, the "National Commission on Innovation & Competitiveness Frontiers." She succeeds Dr. Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University, who will remain a member of the Council’s Executive Committee.

"I welcome Joan as a university leader for the Council," notes Council Chairman Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO, Bank of America. "University of Minnesota is a leader in research and education and the council looks forward to gaining the benefits of her perspective and expertise."

And Deborah Wince-Smith, Council President and CEO adds: "Joan shares with her fellow Board members a distinctive vision for the Council and the country, as we emerge from a challenging year. With a focus on the power of innovation, entrepreneurship, experiential learning, diversity and inclusivity, Joan will help position the Council for a new phase of growth and engagement, shaping a powerful growth agenda for the United States."

Gabel: Driving Research and Solutions; and Advancing Equity, Diversity and Community

Joan Gabel is the 17th president of the University of Minnesota, overseeing the nation's 6th largest University, including over 68,000 students, 27,000 faculty/staff, and an overall $4.2 billion budget. She stewarded the University’s new systemwide strategic plan, MPact 2025, emphasizing student success, innovation, equity, and fiscal stewardship. Under her leadership, the University surpassed $1 Billion in annual research expenditures; elevated into the top one percent of patent-producing universities; achieved a record-setting year in private philanthropy; deepened its work to build a more equitable and just community; was awarded, after a national competition, the host institution status for the U.S. Department of Defense BioMade initiative for manufacturing innovation; and initiated an innovative approach to keep students, faculty, and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gabel has also advanced corporate partnerships in research, teaching, and community engagement. She serves as a National Commissioner for the Council on Competitiveness; is a champion for MBOLD, a public-private coalition accelerating solutions to pressing agro-food challenges. She is a member of the board for the Medical Alley Association and the Minnesota Business Partnership (MBP), including the MBP’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. She also co-chairs the Association of American Universities (AAU) Advisory Board on Diversity and Racial Equity.

Prior to her tenure at Minnesota, Gabel served as Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of South Carolina (UofSC), where she launched dynamic programs, increasing enrollment and alternative revenue streams. Under her leadership, UofSC emerged as a national leader through the creation of "arenas of excellence," which promote opportunities for students to experience interdisciplinary study, research, and pathways to career opportunities in information technology and the health sciences. She also previously served as dean of the University of Missouri's Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, where she established nationally recognized learning opportunities and was recognized as a "shining star" in business school administration by the Wall Street Journal.

Gabel's academic interests range from innovation to risk management with an emphasis on the legal and ethical environment of business and governance, and her research has been published in both scholarly and professional journals, receiving numerous awards and citations. She has been recognized as a Fulbright Scholar, and has served as editor in chief of the American Business Law Journal and the Journal of Legal Studies in Business.

"I am honored to join the Board of the Council on Competitiveness and represent its incredibly innovative academic members," Gabel said. "As a Council, we have a unique opportunity to leverage our collective competitive advantage - the diverse perspectives of our membership spanning academia, industry, labor and our national laboratory enterprise - to come together to solve the greatest challenges facing our country. I look forward to working with my fellow Board members to explore new opportunities to enhance America’s long-term inclusive prosperity."

About the Council on Competitiveness

For more than three decades, the Council on Competitiveness (Council) has championed a competitiveness agenda for the United States to attract investment and talent and spur the commercialization of new ideas. While the players may have changed since its founding in 1986, the mission remains as vital as ever—to enhance U.S. productivity and raise the standard of living for all Americans.

The members of the Council—CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national lab directors—represent a powerful, nonpartisan voice that sets aside politics and seeks results. By providing real-world perspective to policymakers, the Council’s private sector network makes an impact on decision-making across a broad spectrum of issues—from the cutting- edge of science and technology, to the democratization of innovation, to the shift from energy weakness to strength that supports the growing renaissance in U.S. manufacturing. The Council firmly believes that with the right policies, the strengths and potential of the U.S. economy far outweigh the current challenges the nation faces on the path to higher growth and greater opportunity for all Americans.

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