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UEDA Board Expands with Appointment of A&M's Orok

May 17, 2022

UEDA Board Expands with Appointment of A&M's Orok

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – May 20, 2022 – Last week, the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) announced the appointment of Dr. Teresa Merriweather Orok from Alabama A&M University to their board of directors. UEDA serves as the preeminent association for higher education practitioners focused on attracting talent, driving innovation, and building a sense of place within their regions.

Dr. Teresa Merriweather Orok is an expert on economic and business innovation. While her career spans more than 30 years of experience across grants, government contract management, economic development, government, and higher education, she currently serves as the inaugural Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Development (CEIED) at Alabama A&M University.

“We are excited to welcome Teresa to the UEDA team! Her knowledge and experience in economic development, education, and innovation will be valuable as we continue to build engaging programming and initiatives for our members,” said UEDA President Rebecca Robinson.

“Dr. Orok has been a consistent source for expertise on economic and business development at AAMU for nearly two decades,” stated Dr. Daniel K. Wims, president of Alabama A&M University.  “Her impactful workshops, webinars and seminars on pertinent economic issues have attracted both sought-after presenters and thoroughly engaged attendees.”

AAMU’s CEIED partners with the State of Alabama economic development engines, small businesses, corporations, innovation partners, SBA, SBDC, financial institutions, investors, developers, and other organizations with similar missions. They foster opportunities for economic growth and assist in building a stronger financial base especially directed toward the North Huntsville community and other underrepresented communities.

“CEIED has been a significant resource for economic development and entrepreneurship throughout the Tennessee Valley,” said Alabama State Representative Laura Hall, who represents District 19.  “I am certain Dr. Orok will be a reliable asset to UEDA, as well.”

Dr. Orok will also work closely with the American Resilience & Equity Networks Initiative (ARENI), a project funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. ARENI will establish practitioner networks in the areas of economic equity and economic resilience, while also providing structure to the EDA University Center program. With these networks, participants will share best practices, and resources, and connections that will influence our next economic wave. As Co-Chair for the ARENI Council, Dr. Orok will guide a structure for region-to-region collaboration on resilience and equity issues.

“ARENI supports the future of economic development by building communities of practice around the critical issues impacting our regions. Teresa’s expertise and leadership is the foundation this initiative needs to achieve great success,” said Tim Hindes, UEDA’s Executive Director.

Learn more about the UEDA board of directors here.

About UEDA
Established in 1976, the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) is the cornerstone membership organization representing higher education, private sector and community economic development stakeholders. UEDA works to expand economic opportunity in our communities by leveraging research, community resources, campus planning, talent development, and technology commercialization. UEDA’s mission is to serve its members by enhancing members’ abilities to deliver economic development benefits through engagement with higher education. Learn more.


The American Resilience & Equity Networks Initiative (ARENI) provides a structure for region-to-region collaboration on resilience and equity issues and EDA’s University Centers through regular convenings, online forums, and resource libraries. Using UEDA’s existing criterion for identifying best practices in higher education economic development, methods will be identified and then evaluated by an Advisory Council on originality, scalability, sustainability, impact, and replicability in other regions. Those methods that favorably meet the criteria will be elevated to present to the appropriate network. Learn more.