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The entrepreneurial spirit created by our bold trendsetters has made Arkansas a hub of international commerce and is launching a new generation of dealmakers. Through a statewide network of partners and targeted tax incentive programs, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is committed to empowering start-ups and visionaries with open collaboration, unparalleled resources, beneficial policies, and a willingness to get things done.


AEDC Names Jennifer Fowler Director of Arkansas NSF EPSCoR

Jul 7, 2021, 10:15 AM by
Jennifer Fowler has been named director of the Arkansas National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 7, 2021) – The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) today announced that it has named Jennifer Fowler as the new director of the Arkansas National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). She will replace Steve Stanley, who recently retired from the position.

Fowler currently serves as the director of Education, Outreach, and Diversity for EPSCoR where she implemented a variety of programs and activities to broaden participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In this role, she was elected to a national council for her profession by the national EPSCoR community and served as an at-large member before being elected chair. 

“Jennifer has been a valued member of AEDC for many years, beginning with the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Since the day Governor Hutchinson took office, he has striven to increase the number of women going into STEM careers, and Jennifer is a great role model in this effort. She is just one of several women attaining leadership roles at AEDC recently, and I know that our scientific research collaborations will be in good hands with our future doctor.”

In her new role, Fowler will serve as the statewide program director of Arkansas NSF EPSCoR, and principal investigator for the current Track-1 project, Data Analytics that are Robust and Trusted (DART). She will be primarily responsible for administering the $24 million research project and supporting more than 100 faculty and student researchers at colleges and universities across the state. She will also work with the program’s academic and industry partners to continue to build the state’s research infrastructure and economic competitiveness.

“I am honored that the Arkansas research community and AEDC have placed their faith in me to take on this role,” Fowler said. “I look forward to strengthening our existing relationships and building new ones to elevate our state’s profile as a national leader in data analytics research and education.”

Fowler is an Arkansas native and a graduate of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Arkansas and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in molecular biosciences at Arkansas State University with an emphasis in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Her thesis research involves evaluating machine learning approaches to identify possible genetic markers for types of cancer. She also serves on the board for Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and the ASMSA Board of Ambassadors. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family outdoors in our beautiful state. 

About the Arkansas Economic Development Commission

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), a division of the Arkansas Department of Commerce, seeks to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying local economies in the state, increasing incomes and investment, and generating growth throughout The Natural State. Arkansas is a pro-business environment operating leaner, faster and more focused through a streamlined state government designed to act on corporate interests quickly and decisively. For more information, visit www.ArkansasEDC.com. The Arkansas Department of Commerce is the umbrella department for workforce and economic development drivers. Its divisions and regulatory boards include Division of Aeronautics, Waterways Commission, Wine Producers Council, Division of Workforce Services, Office of Skills Development, State Bank Department, Insurance Department, Securities Department, Economic Development Commission and Development Finance Authority. It was established July 2019 as part of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s wide-sweeping efficiency and transformation efforts to reduce 42 cabinet agencies to 15 while maintaining services for all Arkansans.

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