Fostering Engagement: Universities leading Economic Development in the United States

18 July, 2:00pm - 2:30pm UTC | Fireside Chat
External Collaborations and Partnerships Impact through Engagement

Join us for an insightful fireside chat with Alvaro Muñiz, director in the Office for International, Community, and Economic Engagement at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). This event offers a unique opportunity to delve into the topics of economic and community engagement. We will explore the role that public universities play in fostering innovation, driving economic growth, and improving the quality of life in their communities. Focusing on place, innovation and talent and their role for universities to become true economic engagement leaders.

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Fostering Engagement: Universities leading Economic Development in the United States


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Alvaro Muñiz is a prominent advocate for university-led economic and community engagement. Through his work with APLU’s Office of International, Community, and Economic Engagement (ICEE), Muniz plays a crucial role in coordinating efforts that expand the engagement of public universities across North America. CECE convenes senior university economic development and community engagement administrators, presidents and chancellors, provosts, senior research officers, Cooperative Extension leaders, communications and government affairs administrators, and others responsible for planning, executing, or communicating their institution’s work in economic development and public engagement.

What you will learn

  • Place: Learn about the role of community engagement, infrastructure development and regional economic strategies to better contribute to economic, social and cultural development.
  • Innovation: Understand how universities can foster innovation and entrepreneurship through collaborative R&D, technology transfer and supporting and cultivating entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Talent: Explore the importance of continuously developing a skilled and adaptable workforce, including lifelong learning programs, student engagement and workforce development
  • The IEP Program: Understand the significance of the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) designation and its 5-Year Extension process. 
  • Creating Sustainable Partnerships: Explore how meaningful partnerships between universities, government, and industry are essential to maximising the positive impact of higher education on the economy and society. 

Speaker biography

Alvaro muniz 2022 scaledDr. Alvaro J. Muñiz, Director, International, Community, and Economic Engagement at Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)

Alvaro J. Muñiz joined APLU in March 2022 as a Director in the Office for International, Community, and Economic Engagement. In this role, he oversees the Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation (IEP) program within the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE).

Before joining APLU, Alvaro worked at George Mason University in the Office of the Provost, providing strategy and project management to numerous university-wide projects, including ADVANCE and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Tech Talent Investment Program. He also managed a $1M grant from the Strada Education Network to launch the ADVANCE Career Accelerator Toolkit, a first-of-its-kind web-based application designed to help prospective students select majors based on desired career outcomes.

About fireside chats

A UIIN Fireside Chat is a 30-minute long, interview session between a UIIN facilitator and an external industry expert on a high-level topic. Participants will leave with insights and inspiration after hearing the experiences and perspectives of the guest speaker, and have the opportunity to ask questions during the session. Fireside Chats are also recorded for UIIN podcasts and are available after the session.