Huntsville, Ala. — Alabama A&M University has named its business college dean to direct ambitious economic development endeavors for the 143-year-old institution.

Dr. Delmonize “Del” Smith, current dean of AAMU’s College of Business and Public Affairs, will serve as executive director for economic development.  Smith’s added role will entail coordinating AAMU’s civic and corporate outreach to promote a thriving regional economy and to fulfill the university’s mission to serve as an economic leader for the region.

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Additionally, Dean Smith will guide a university-wide collaboration to develop strategic initiatives, cultivate relationships, and convene regional stakeholders to accelerate business development; promote business incubation; stimulate commercialization of intellectual property and technology; and align university graduates with local and global workforce demands.

Finally, the dean will identify economic development initiatives such as “opportunity zones” and tax incentives that will help AAMU advance its economic development goals.

Smith has served in numerous roles throughout his career, including systems analyst in the U.S. Army, consultant for Fortune 1000 firms, economic development commissioner, and serial entrepreneur. His experience as a minority entrepreneur has fueled his interest in what it takes for minority-based entrepreneurial firms to reach high levels of success. His related research has appeared in leading journals, such as Human Relations, the Journal of Business Research, and the Journal of Information Technology Management.

Dr. Smith received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Faulkner University, the Master of Science degree in management from Troy University, and the Ph.D. in management from the University of Alabama.