Christina Orsi Named Associate Vice President for Economic Development at the University at Buffalo

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Christina Orsi, a business development specialist who has helped guide Western New York's economic resurgence, has been named associate vice president for economic development at the University at Buffalo. 

Orsi will begin her position on April 7, replacing Marnie LaVigne, who is now CEO of Launch NY.

Orsi has more than two decades of experience in economic development, a career that includes leadership roles for Empire State Development, the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. During that time, she has worked extensively with business leaders, elected officials, academia, nonprofits and public sector organizations to create an environment where a variety of businesses from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies - are in a position to succeed.

Orsi brings a wealth of experience that will help the university foster relationships between its many talented researchers and key business leaders. She will play a pivotal role advancing UB's mission as an economic engine for Western New York and beyond.

In her new role, Orsi will coordinate university-wide economic development efforts, many of which are administered through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. This includes activities sponsored by federal and state governments, industry and foundations and economic development programs such as START-UP NY.

She will oversee the Office of Economic Development (OED), which helps businesses and other community partners connect with UB researchers and resources, including workforce development training and equipment rental.

Additionally, Orsi will work with principal investigators, business development executives and commercialization teams at UB's NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (CBLS), UB's NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI), UB's Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT), UB's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR).

At Empire State Development, Orsi provided strategic direction for the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and played an integral role in Gov. Cuomo's Buffalo Billion economic development plan.  She also oversaw the disbursement of more than $150 million in development grants, loans and tax credits on an annual basis.

Orsi has received the Amherst Chamber of Commerce Stewardship Award (2012) and the Western Region Corporation Outstanding Service Award (2012). She serves on numerous boards including the Canisius College Women's Business Center, the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. and Catholic Charities.

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