SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert has announced the appointment of former Lt. Gov. Greg Bell as chairman of the Utah Science Technology and Research Governing Authority.

Bell, now president and CEO of the Utah Hospital Association, replaces Dinesh Patel, a business leader who has led USTAR since its inception in 2006.

Statutes governing USTAR do not allow Patel to be reappointed to the governing authority after his current term ends June 30. Herbert has appointed Bell so he can work with Patel for the next six months.

"I greatly appreciate Dinesh's service and accomplishments, getting this exciting initiative off the ground and running," Herbert said. "Greg Bell will lead USTAR into its next phase of development with additional job creation and economic growth."

USTAR is a 30-year program designed to create high-quality jobs and improve Utah's economy through commercialization of university research and by supporting high-tech startups in rural areas of the state. Governing authority positions are all voluntary and nonpaid.

USTAR also announced the resignation of executive director Ted McAleer, who has served since October 2006. McAleer had committed to a four-year term but continued for an additional three years to complete the construction of USTAR buildings at the University of Utah and Utah State University, as well as initiate other programs.