The University of Arkansas has named Mike Malone vice chancellor for economic development.
Malone will start April 18 at the Division of Economic Development. Malone will lead the division, which oversees and assesses the university’s effects on the state economy through such departments as the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Technology Ventures and the World Trade Center Arkansas.
“We are very excited to welcome Mike to the University of Arkansas,” UA interim chancellor Charles Robinson said. “Our ambition is to expand economic opportunity and prosperity in Arkansas through talent development, the deployment of innovative research and technologies, community engagement and place-making strategies — and to be the first choice for industry partnerships and collaborations. Mike has been a great partner and supporter of the U of A for many years, and he brings a wealth of experience and the drive and ability to make the Division of Economic Development a force for Arkansas’ greater good.”
Malone has served the past six years as vice president for corporate and community affairs at the Runway Group, an investment group created by Tom and Steuart Walton, grandsons of Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton. Before that, Malone spent 10 years as CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council and has also held staff leadership positions in the White House, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
In his new position, Malone will also share oversight of the university’s Institute for Integrative and Innovation Research (I3R) with John English, the vice chancellor for research and innovation, and Ranu Jung, the institute’s executive director. The institute had its groundbreaking ceremonies Friday and was funded by a $194.7 million grant from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
“I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to serve as the vice chancellor for economic development at the University of Arkansas.” Malone said. “While the UA already has a large economic impact on our state today, emerging opportunities like the establishment of the I3R, enhanced support for startups and entrepreneurs, and growing partnerships with businesses and communities have us poised to see our economic impact grow considerably in just the next few years.”