CLEMSON — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has selected Clemson University President James P. Clements to serve as a co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

President James P. Clements

President James P. Clements

NACIE is a federal advisory committee created as part of the America COMPETES Act, which represents a major milestone on the nation’s path to building an innovation economy for the 21st century. The committee is charged with identifying and recommending solutions to issues critical to driving the innovation economy, including enabling entrepreneurs and firms to successfully access and develop a skilled, globally competitive workforce.

“I’m honored to be asked to serve in this capacity, and I believe my participation will create opportunities for Clemson University and for the state of South Carolina,” said Clements. “The council’s mission aligns perfectly with Clemson’s commitment to workforce development for new and emerging industries, research-driven innovations that spur economic growth, and resources that support the launch and growth of new businesses. My appointment is a reflection of the outstanding work being done by our faculty, staff and students.”

Clements will advise Pritzker on issues related to accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship – with an emphasis on proven programs that create jobs and boost innovation. His two-year term is effective immediately, and the first NACIE meeting will be held in December in Washington D.C.

“Through our ‘Open for Business Agenda,’ the Commerce Department has prioritized supporting entrepreneurs and helping foster innovation, which are key drivers of America’s global competitiveness,” said Pritzker. “The new NACIE members are a diverse and dynamic group of successful entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors, as well as leaders from nonprofit organizations and academia. I appreciate their willingness to serve our nation on these important issues, and I look forward to working with the council to advance innovation and cultivate a skilled workforce for today’s 21st century jobs.”

Clements is a nationally recognized leader in higher education. In November, he will take office as chair of the board of directors of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, North America’s oldest higher education association. Annually, APLU’s 235 member institutions enroll 4.7 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.1 million degrees and conduct $41 billion in university-based research.

Clements is a member of the Business Higher Education Forum, serves as academic co-chair of the Automotive Sector of the Council on Competitiveness-Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Partnership (EMCP) and is national co-chair of APLU’s Energy Forum. He previously served on the Commerce Department’s Innovation Advisory Board, where he was the only university president in the country to serve in that role.

Clements holds three degrees in computer science and operations analysis from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and one from Johns Hopkins University. He spent 20 years at Maryland’s Towson University before serving for five years as president of West Virginia University.

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