Kirk Named to Head EDA's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Julie Lenzer Kirk, an entrepreneur and author, has been appointed by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to lead the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the Economic Development Administration. Kirk had been serving as the executive director of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship and was the co-founder of Startup Maryland

The OIE is focused on developing policies and initiatives to support high-growth entrepreneurship, remove barriers for entrepreneurs, and accelerate commercialization of federally funded research in universities and federal labs. It works closely with the White House and other federal agencies to help entrepreneurs translate new ideas, products, and services into economic growth. 

“[Kirk] is a visionary leader and tireless advocate for entrepreneurs who has focused her career on leveraging innovation to create jobs and empower communities,” said Pritzker. “By connecting Commerce to local communities and business leaders, the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is building ladders of opportunity for all Americans through fostering innovation and supporting entrepreneurs, both of which are key drivers of U.S. economic growth and key priorities of the Department’s Open for Business Agenda.”

The Department of Commerce supports entrepreneurship through its Open for Business Agenda, a set of strategic priorities focused on data, innovation, and trade and investment.  

Earlier this month Secretary Pritzker chaired the first ever meeting of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative, a committee of successful entrepreneurs such as Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, Rich Barton, co-founder of Zillow, Tory Burch, fashion entrepreneur / brand, and Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution.


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