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Senate confirms new SBA administrator

The U.S. Senate has confirmed by unanimous consent President Barack Obama’s nomination of Karen Gordon Mills as the 23rd Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). 

 

“Small business is the backbone of the American economy,” Mills said upon her confirmation. “The SBA has a vital role to play in supporting our nation’s small businesses so that they can be the key driver in getting our economy moving again. I look forward to leading this critical agency at this important time.

According to her testimony on April 1 before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Mills has hands-on experience in small business and in weathering a recession. She said, “I was there on the factory floor in Arkansas and Ohio working to weather the recession of the early ‘90s. Those experiences give me a deep understanding of what our small businesses need today to survive this downturn and to prosper in the years ahead. Since then, I have helped grow companies in organic food, and women’s media, and spent time in rural Maine working with our boat builders and composite technology to help them compete throughout the globe.”

Mills, of Brunswick, Maine, was president of MMP Group and has a 25-year career of investing in and growing small businesses. In 2007, she was appointed by Maine Gov. John Baldacci as chair of the state’s Council on Competitiveness and the Economy, where she focused on attracting investment in rural and regional development initiatives. She also co-authored a Brookings Institute paper on competitive clusters.

Mills is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as vice chairman of the Harvard Overseers. She holds a degree in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. Mills and her husband Barry Mills, president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, have three sons. 

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration, www.sba.org


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