State Economic Chief to Join Georgia Tech

Ken Stewart to serve as senior industry strategist

Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Ken Stewart will join the Georgia Institute of Technology July 19 as a senior advisor for industry strategy, Governor Sonny Perdue announced earlier today.

Stewart, 60, who currently serves as a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, comes to Georgia Tech after six years in state government where he also served as director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.  

 “As the former chief marketing officer for the state, Ken brings an outstanding record of experience in new business development and the expansion of existing ones,” said Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson. “The pivotal role that both Ken and Georgia Tech played in bringing NCR to Georgia serves as a testament to the potential this expanded partnership will bring. His insight and experience will be vital as Georgia Tech pursues the vision of becoming an even more dynamic economic driver for Georgia, our nation and the world.”

During Stewart’s time at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the agency assisted locating and expanding companies that created almost 62,000 jobs and $11.4 billion in investment. The state opened its tenth international office, in Beijing, China. The department also reorganized to become more results driven and focused on the state’s strategic industries, reorganized its Global Commerce division into industry teams and brought the state’s Center of Innovation program under its purview. Both tourism expenditures and investment by the entertainment industry increased significantly, the latter to unprecedented levels triggered by Juneincentives Stewart’s team helped shepherd through the legislative process.

 “I’m thrilled to be joining this world-preeminent institution,” said Stewart. “Georgia Tech is known world-wide by companies as a go-to place for leading-edge research and technical expertise.  Tech is truly an ace in our state’s economic development deck, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to help merge current and future company needs with the vast capabilities of Georgia Tech.  I look forward to helping Georgia continue to grow into a state of the future in partnership with Georgia Tech.  Its deep intellectual and research capital is a solid asset for our state.”

Stewart has spent the majority of his career in the private sector.  He served as vice president of Unisource Worldwide, Inc., where he led the company's south-central sales and distribution division in addition to its retail stores and specialty manufacturing businesses. He also held several management positions at Georgia-Pacific, including director of enterprise development, senior director of strategic planning and analysis of G-P's distribution division, and director of state and local taxes. Stewart also worked for Weyerhaeuser Company and Mississippi Power & Light.

A member of the State Bar of Georgia, Stewart holds a juris doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University and has served as a company commander in the Army National Guard.

Present and previous affiliations include board of directors’ chair for the Georgia Centers of Innovation, the Georgia Tourism Foundation and Governor Perdue’s Growing Georgia Cluster group of state agency heads. Stewart also serves on the boards of the OneGeorgia Authority, the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Development Authority and Georgia Workforce Development.  He is a member of the American Forestry Foundation board, for which he is treasurer, and has served on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board since 2008.  For the past five years, Stewart has been named among the 100 most influential Georgians by Georgia Trend, and among the 100 most influential Atlanta leaders by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for the past three years.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.