USTAR has its first leader at the helm.
Edward R. "Ted" McAleer of Park City was selected as executive director of the Utah Science, Technology and Research Economic Development Initiative during a Thursday meeting of the USTAR Governing Authority.
McAleer was selected from 19 applicants through a unanimous vote, although one authority member was absent. The group also voted for McAleer to receive a salary of $106,200, the maximum under the law that established USTAR.
McAleer is director of technology venture development at the University of Utah but has an executive background in several companies.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity," McAleer said from his home shortly after the vote. "Ever since the Legislature made the decision to have a governing authority and executive director, I hoped to have an opportunity to be executive director. I presented that back in April to folks who know me at the University of Utah, so I've been thinking about it the last four or five months. I've got a lot of enthusiasm for the job, and I'm looking forward to getting started working with the governing authority and other stakeholders."
McAleer declined to reveal any ideas he has for USTAR, saying he must first discuss those with the authority and others.
The USTAR model calls for universities initially the U. and Utah State to construct facilities and recruit high-end researchers whose technologies would be commercialized. USTAR is expected to eventually lead to the creation of 422 companies with 123,406 jobs paying $9 billion annually and leading to $5 billion in new state tax revenue.
"I think in the early years, the key part of USTAR is going to be to set the timelines, to get the procedures in place, so we need somebody who is very good at that," authority Chairman Dinesh Patel said after the group's meeting.
The first USTAR-prompted jobs will occur in five or six years, but before that, USTAR needs to establish the proper framework for its programs and decide how to track them, he said.
Of the 19 candidates, four met the criteria for the job. A screening committee narrowed the figure to two, and all nine authority members interviewed the two finalists, leading to Thursday's selection of McAleer."The board was very pleased with the quality of the candidates, in particular as we got down to the finalists," authority member Jack Sunderlage said during the meeting. "We got some very strong candidates. ... We were really impressed with the number of people who showed interest in the position and interest in moving USTAR forward."
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