The Swain Center for Business and Economic Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington has a new leader.
Laura Gail Lunsford has been named director of the Swain Center after a national search, the university announced Tuesday. Her appointment to the new position will start officially Aug. 15.
“We have a visionary and resourceful leader in Laura,” Robert Burrus, dean of UNCW’s Cameron School of Business, said in a release. “I’m confident her experience and expertise with building successful university-community programs will prove to be a great asset to the Swain Center and the university as a whole.”
A native of North Carolina, Lunsford holds a bachelor’s and a doctorate in psychology from N.C. State University and a master’s from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She served as the first alumni relations director for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and established the Park Scholarships program at N.C. State. She has spent the past eight years at the University of Arizona in Tucson where she was an associate professor of psychology, focusing on the psychology of leadership and mentoring.
“I’m delighted to call Wilmington home. I feel fortunate to be in a position to build on the incredible resources at UNCW and the Cameron School of Business to ensure the Swain Center is known as one of the region’s leading business resources,” Lunsford said in the release.
Lunsford’s book, “Handbook of Managing Mentoring Programs,” was published in May, and she has two more books on mentoring and leadership development in development.
Founded at UNCW in 1981 with a focus on economics research and forecasting, the Swain Center now offers education opportunities for the region's workforce, assists with economic forecast data and partners with students and faculty across campus.