Chris Downing, vice president and director of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, announces retirement

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Business and Economic Development

Chris Downing, vice president and director of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, announces retirement

April 11, 2019
• Atlanta, GA

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Chris Downing is vice president and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Chris Downing, who has led the Georgia Institute of Technology’s economic development efforts as vice president and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), is retiring after 31 years of service.

Downing, who has led EI2 since 2016, leaves behind a decades-long legacy of leadership experience at Georgia Tech in technology-based economic development, university outreach and technical assistance, entrepreneurship and start-up support, and program management.

His retirement is effective June 1, 2019.

“I feel very fortunate for such a diverse and challenging career and to have shared so many good years with the Georgia Tech family, and I am very appreciative of the many faculty, staff, and students who have made my time at Georgia Tech so interesting and inspiring,” Downing said. “Although I am leaving my full-time duties, I look forward to staying connected to Georgia Tech and supporting its mission of progress and service.”

After leaving IBM where he was a mechanical facilities engineer, Downing joined Georgia Tech in 1988 as a senior research engineer with the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

In 1996, he joined EI2 — then called the Economic Development Institute (EDI) — as the Griffin regional office manager and provided industrial extension and economic development services to the south metro Atlanta region.

Two years later, he was named group manager of technology services for the Economic Development Institute, where he was charged with overall management of technology deployment and information technology services to more than 200 EDI staff and associates located both on campus and in 12 regional offices across the state. In addition, this group provided technical research services for EDI clients in industry, business, and community economic …

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