Interim Executive Director, Government & Economic Development Institute; Russell Foundation Professorship in Entrepreneurial Studies
|dept:||Department of Management|
|office:||450 Lowder Business Building|
At Auburn since 2008
- Ph.D., University of Texas at San Antonio, 2007
- MS (Technology Commercialization), University of Texas at Austin, 1999
- BSEE, Prairie View A&M University, 1991
Dr. Baker serves as the Interim Executive Director of the Government & Economic Development
Institute (GEDI) in University Outreach and holds the Russell Foundation Professorship
in Entrepreneurial Studies. In this role, she helps drive and support economic development
and entrepreneurship growth initiatives across the state of Alabama and provides training
to civic and elected officials and economic developers. Prior to joining GEDI, she
served as the Managing Director of the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship
where she guided students and faculty to creatively generate business ideas, refine
their plans to maximize success potential, and acquire the resources needed to implement
their ideas. During her four-year tenure, the student teams she worked with won or
raised over $850K in external sources and earned over $840K in revenue. Additionally,
the community startups she mentored won $150K in competitions to grow their businesses.
She is certified to provide training, coaching and mentoring on the lean startup methodologies, value proposition design, and creating and developing sustainable business models by the International Business Innovation Association and I-CorpsTM South. Dr. Baker teaches courses in strategy and technology commercialization at the graduate and executive levels. She previously served on the board of the Southern Management Association. Her academic research has appeared in top journals such as Academy of Management Journal, The Leadership Quarterly and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.
Dr. Baker serves as a co-principal investigator on a grant awarded $590K to develop an EDA University Center at Auburn University focused on advancing regional commercialization efforts, entrepreneurship, innovation, business expansion, and developing a high-skilled regional workforce by the U.S. Department of Commerce. She is the business expert on a research team awarded $1.275M to develop and commercialize biomedical implants and rehabilitative orthotics using additive manufacturing.
Prior to her academic work, Dr. Baker spent 11 years at 3M Corporation and held a variety of positions centered on engineering and product management. She served as the leader of the Electrical Supplies Business Unit, which had over $60 million in global revenue in the electrical construction and maintenance industry.