Diane Clifton, 334/844-5117

Joe Sumners


AUBURN -- Joe Sumners has been named director of Auburn University's Economic Development Institute, which provides technical assistance and training for Alabama cities and counties in the areas of community development and strategic planning.

The appointment was announced by David Wilson, associate provost and vice president for university outreach, effective March 1.

Sumners was associate director of EDI for two years. Before that, he was training and policy research coordinator for AU's Center for Governmental Services.

With a total of 12 years experience, Sumners has directed strategic planning efforts for communities throughout Alabama, including Northport, Sylacauga, Brewton, Gadsden, Uniontown, Evergreen and Eufaula.

He has conducted more than125 workshops for Alabama state, county and municipal officials on topics such as economic development, strategic planning, leadership development, public management and supervision, performance measurement and the Alabama Constitution.

Sumners is the author of Governing Alabama: The Peoples Choice, an issues book for high school students that examines topics related to Alabama state and local government. He edited and contributed to Alabama Issues 1998, a collection of essays and articles on statewide issues for the 1998 elections in Alabama.

His research has been published in The American Political Science Review and Evaluation and Program Planning.

Sumners is also the author of the chapter, Missing: Local Democracy in Alabama Constitutional Reform in a book that will be published this summer by the University of Alabama Press.

Sumners helped plan and organize the state's first-ever Symposium on the Alabama Constitution and Mock Constitutional Convention, and is chairman of East Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform.

The Harpersville, Ala., native received his bachelors and masters degrees from Auburn University and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

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