Appointed GRA’s fourth president in September 2020, Susan Shows is a seasoned leader in technology-based economic development, having built and managed programs that turn investment into results.
Susan joined GRA in 2001 to start the Alliance’s venture development program, one of the first of its kind in the U.S. Over the years, the nationally recognized program has helped fuel the launch of nearly 200 companies out of Georgia’s university labs, attracting outside investment of more than $1.2 billion.
In 2008, GRA named Susan senior vice president, and she began managing GRA’s investment portfolio of talent and technology at Georgia’s leading research universities. Today, that portfolio totals more than $650 million. She has been instrumental in helping the universities recruit world-class scientists to Georgia as GRA Eminent Scholars and making strategic investments in lab infrastructure to help the Scholars expand their work.
Susan has also overseen much of GRA’s financial analytics, which have guided the organization’s long-term strategic planning and provides transparency to GRA partners in state government.
Prior to joining GRA, Susan worked at Georgia Tech, where she managed collaborations involving the university, federal agencies and private industry. She also served as general manager of ATDC, Georgia Tech’s business incubator, and led an industry-driven R&D program for Georgia’s pulp and paper, food processing and textiles industries. She began her career as an industrial engineer at Square D Company in Lexington, Kentucky, and later became part of the company’s start-up team for a new manufacturing facility in North Carolina.
Susan earned an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati and a B.S. in industrial management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She serves as an advisor to regional and national organizations that support translational research and technology-based economic development.