The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) announced that Telly Tucker will lead the organization as its new president, effective May 31. Tucker will provide high-level, strategic leadership as IALR continues its mission to catalyze regional economic transformation.
“On behalf of the search committee and the board of trustees, I want to share our excitement with the selection of Telly Tucker as the first President of IALR,” said Roy Ford Jr., D. Min., chair of the IALR board of trustees. “We have full confidence in Telly’s ability to successfully steer IALR to help realize Southern Virginia as home to a dynamic economy where all can live and thrive. His collaborative approach and strategic insight, combined with his significant experience and deep knowledge of our region, positions him as a perfect champion of our vision for the next chapter of IALR.”
Tucker formerly served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Danville before his most recent post as the Director of Arlington Economic Development for Arlington County, Va. There he led an economic development team of more than 50 employees as the staff built on the momentum of Amazon HQ2 to attract more businesses, grow existing business, and support the tourism sector and the arts community.
“I am honored to have been selected as the first president of IALR,” said Tucker. “The opportunity to lead a premier institution engaged in meaningful and impactful economic development, applied research, advanced learning, conference services and advanced manufacturing is truly a privilege. I’m very much looking forward to this challenge and opportunity to work collaboratively in support of the larger mission of economic transformation within Southern Virginia.”
Tucker’s career in economic development, education and leadership spans 18 years in Virginia at both the state and local levels. In addition to his leadership in the City of Danville and Arlington County, his experience includes serving as Assistant Director of Economic Development for James City County, Program Administrator for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Economic Development Specialist for the City of Lynchburg, and Secondary Education Teacher for Lynchburg City Schools.
An avid supporter of community engagement, Tucker has held board appointments with the Leadership Center for Excellence Board of Regents, George Mason University President’s Innovation Advisory Council, Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (Immediate Past Chair), Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and Path Forward Advisory Council, and has served as an Honorary Board Member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Tucker has received the prestigious Certified Economic Development (CEcD) designation granted by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in Washington, D.C., and has served on IEDC’s Racism and Economic Development Committee. He is a Lynchburg native and obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in international business and Spanish from James Madison University.
IALR’s seven-member search committee worked with Korn Ferry in Washington, D.C., to conduct a national search to fill the new President position. The team narrowed the highly qualified pool of applicants to five candidates for a round of interviews before selecting Tucker.
The new president position was created after a seven-month strategic planning process indicated the need for expanded executive leadership due to extensive growth in IALR’s activity level, as well as strategic succession planning.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation with applied research, advanced learning, economic development, advanced manufacturing and conference services. IALR’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville. For more information, visit www.ialr.org.