Michelle Willard Appointed as Chief of External Relations at Sacramento State, Transitions from Greater Sacramento Economic Council

Greater Sacramento


Willard to Lead External Relations at Sacramento State Starting February 12


Sacramento, CA— Michelle Willard, a key executive leader at the Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC), has accepted the position of Chief of External Relations at Sacramento State . In this appointed role, Willard will spearhead all external relations initiatives and work closely with the University President to establish and develop crucial relationships and partnerships to help transform the university.

“Michelle has been instrumental in driving our economic initiatives and fostering collaborations that have significantly benefited the Greater Sacramento region,” President and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Barry Broome said. “We thank Michelle for her leadership, dedication and wish her continued success in her new role at Sacramento State. She will be greatly missed but we look forward to watching her shine in this new role for the community.”

For almost six years, Michelle worked and advised more than 45 CEOs, university presidents, congressional leaders, mayors, city council members and county supervisors on economic development initiatives throughout the six county Sacramento region. She was responsible for setting the image, providing vision and leadership for the organization. Michelle advanced the interests of external partners and the community through strategic advocacy while building and maintaining collaborative relationships with federal, state, and local government leaders; staff and community leaders bolstering strategic communication initiatives as it relates to economic development.

Most recently, Michelle worked on the largest semiconductor investment in the state of California and assisted BOSCH on a $1.5 billion semiconductor investment in the region. She worked with the global German company to help the project succeed by working with congressional, state, and local elected officials, community partners as well as the media.

Willard’s responsibilities at Sacramento State include overseeing federal, state, and local policy initiatives, as well as developing strategic partnerships with private industry leaders. Her role is pivotal to help cultivate, foster and build public and private partnerships to advance the University’s mission for upward mobility and project opportunities.

“We are thrilled to have Michelle join our team. Her wealth of experience and proven track record in economic development, public/government affairs, public relations, marketing, and news anchoring will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and transformation of Sacramento State,” Dr. J. Luke Wood, President of Sacramento State said. “Michelle’s ability to develop and foster key relationships will be vital to our success. We look forward to the positive impact she will make in our community, especially for our students.”

“I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities at the Greater Sacramento Economic Council to help make an impact in the state capital region. A special thank you to GSEC President & CEO Barry Broome for his leadership and mentorship throughout the years,” Michelle Willard said. “I want to thank President Wood for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to making an impact and difference for students at Sacramento State.”

Willard’s transition reflects the ongoing commitment to collaboration and progress within the Sacramento region, both in economic development and educational advancement. The Greater Sacramento Economic Council and Sacramento State look forward to continuing success through these shared endeavors.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Brittany Jones
Chief Performance Officer
(602) 300-5630

About the Greater Sacramento Economic Council
The Greater Sacramento Economic Council is the catalyst for innovative growth strategies in the Capital Region of California. The organization spearheads community-led direction to retain, attract, grow and scale tradable sectors, develop advanced industries and create jobs and investment throughout a six-county region. Greater Sacramento represents a collaboration between local and state governments, market leaders, influencers and stakeholders, with the sole mission of driving inclusive economic growth. The Greater Sacramento region was founded on discovery, built on leadership and fueled by innovation.

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