KALAMAZOO — Kara Wood, the managing director of economic development services for the city of Grand Rapids, will join Western Michigan University as an associate vice president for community partnerships on Oct. 7.
Wood, who is an alumna of WMU, has worked for the city for 12 years, starting as an economic development director. She started her current position in 2015.
“I’m excited to join the team at Western Michigan University to continue the tradition of collaboration and public-private partnerships to advance the university’s growth in the state of Michigan,” Wood said in a statement.
Wood will work with university leadership to advance corporate engagement in areas like research, economic development and talent development.
“We are thrilled to have Kara join the government relations team,” Jeffrey Breneman, WMU’s vice president for government relations in a statement. “Kara’s leadership with local and state government entities has resulted in meaningful partnerships involving higher education institutions, the corporate sector and the nonprofit communities.”
Wood is replacing Bob Miller at WMU who retired in July.
She received a master’s degree in public administration from WMU and taught graduate students in the School of Public Affairs and Administration from 2014-2016. She also previously worked at the Michigan Economic Development Corp.