University Research Corridor Appoints Executive Director


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URC executive director Britany Affolter-Caine

Photo courtesy of Lambert, Edwards, and Associates

The University Research Corridor (URC), an alliance of Michigan State University in East Lansing, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Wayne State University in Detroit, has announced the appointment of Britany Affolter-Caine as executive director. Affolter-Caine will oversee all strategic and operational aspects of the URC.

“It’s exciting and humbling to be selected to lead Michigan’s University Research Corridor,” says Affolter-Caine. “I welcome the challenge of building on the success of my predecessor and our university leaders, the continued opportunity to work with colleagues across our three great institutions, and the chance to extend our relationships with government, industry, and nonprofit partners.”

Affolter-Caine has been with the URC for nearly six years, serving as interim director since July 2017 and as program manager since August 2012. She was previously director of talent enhancement for Ann Arbor SPARK and held positions at the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and the Brookings Institution. She replaces founding URC chief Jeff Mason, who became CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“We are very pleased to name such a highly-qualified candidate to this critical position as we conclude our national search,” says Mark Schlissel, president of U-M. “Britany is a very talented, insightful, and experienced leader who possesses a clear and ambitious vision for the URC’s future. Michigan’s research institutions play a critical role locally, regionally, and globally, and I know Britany will do an outstanding job telling our story and building our profile in the years ahead.”

Affolter-Caine holds a doctorate in higher education policy from U-M and earned a master’s degree in secondary education from Wright State University in Ohio. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wittenberg University, also in Ohio. Affolter-Caine serves on the board of the Ann Arbor Arts Alliance and the consultative panel for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s University Center for Regional Economic Innovation.

“Britany has a demonstrated commitment to the URC and its institutions, and we are fortunate to now have her setting the course for the organization,” says M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State University. “She is a true asset to our research and education communities and to our state.”

“Our research universities are critical assets for the state and for our nation,” says John Engler, interim president of Michigan State University. “The URC helps highlight our record of innovation and collaboration to support the state of Michigan’s reputation as a globally competitive place to live, learn, and build an enterprise. Britany is uniquely suited to build on the URC’s achievements.”

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