Skip to main content

Chancellor Blank joins Council on Competitiveness

July 22, 2014 By Greg Bump

University of Wisconsin–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank has joined the Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that seeks to generate public policy solutions to drive U.S. economic growth.

“It’s never been more important to create meaningful and important conversations to push the U.S. energy and manufacturing competitiveness agenda to the forefront of the national policy discourse,” says Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the council.

Photo: Rebecca Blank

Rebecca Blank

“The leadership and vision Chancellor Blank brings from academia and as former deputy and acting secretary of commerce will be a huge benefit as we build on the council’s tradition and excellence of creating partnerships and shaping policy through our newly formed Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Partnership,” Wince-Smith says.

Blank, an economist and former acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, joined U­W–Madison last summer.

“I have spent a lot of time thinking about American competitiveness,” Blank says. “It’s clear that only two things really matter if the U.S. is going to stay at the front end of the global economy: first, our ability to build and maintain a highly skilled workforce; and second, our ability to stay on the cutting edge of innovation and new technologies.”

Public research universities — institutions that focus on both education and research — are at the center of both of those issues, Blank says.

“Big research universities are a key component in America’s long-term competitiveness,” Blank says. “I am honored to join the Council on Competitiveness and I look forward to working with my peers on these issues. It’s important that places like UW–Madison be part of the strategic thinking about innovation, skills development and job creation.”

The Council on Competitiveness is composed of university presidents, business and labor leaders, and national laboratory directors. Membership is by invitation only.