COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan has announced the members of a board of advisors for the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, a state program designed to advance technology and inclusive innovation across Georgia.
Synovus’s Chief of Staff in Columbus, Latham Saddler, will serve as one of the advisors on the board, a public-private partnership intended to make Georgia the “Technology Capital of the East coast” according to Partnership documentation.
The Partnership for Inclusive Innovation has been a goal of Lt. Gov. Duncan’s since the start of his term. The public-private partnership endeavors to establish Georgia as a technology mecca to lead the nation in technology research, development, and implementation, as well as to encourage business and growth throughout the state.
“As we shape the future of Georgia, we must prioritize innovation improvements and technology advancement across the state,” said Lt. Gov. Duncan. “With guidance and advocacy from the incredible leaders who comprise the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, I am confident Georgia will institute an impressive entrepreneurial identity as the Technology Capital of the East Coast.”
The board’s chair, Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson, president emeritus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and executive director of the Partnership, Debra Lam, will work to make changes outlined by the Georgia Innovates Taskforce which support foundational, transformational, and sustaining work and development throughout Georgia, according to a statement released by the organization.
“The Partnership for Inclusive Innovation will leverage the tremendous untapped potential in Georgia to realize a shared vision of creating a more prosperous future for our state through equitable and inclusive innovation,” said Dr. Peterson. “Our efforts will bring access and opportunity to all Georgians, transforming entrepreneurship in our state for decades to come. I look forward to witnessing the innovation and progress we will achieve together.”
The Taskforce was first established by Duncan in January, and according to documents released by the organization, aims to ensure 90 percent of Georgia is connected to the internet by 2025 as well as decrease food insecurity to one in 14, while increasing in-state venture capital by 10 percent.
The Board of Advisors includes:
- Raphael Bostic, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
- Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO, Georgia Power
- Reed Dulany III, chairman and CEO, SeaPoint Complex
- Geoff Duncan, Lieutenant Governor of Georgia
- Martin Flanagan, president and CEO, Invesco Ltd. USA
- S. Jack Hu, senior vice president and provost, University of Georgia
- Paul Judge, co-founder and executive chairman, Pindrop, and co-founder and partner, TechSquare Labs
- Jana Kanyadan, senior vice president and global CIO, Mohawk Industries Inc.
- Debra Lam, executive director, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, Georgia Tech
- Kenneth Meyer, CIO for digital channels and innovation, Truist Financial Corporation
- G. P. “Bud” Peterson (board chair), president emeritus and Regents professor, Georgia Tech
- Latham Saddler, chief of staff, Synovus
- Stephanie Tillman, chief legal counsel, Flower Foods, Inc.
- Carol Tomé, CEO, UPS
- Larry Williams, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia
- Pat Wilson, commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Saddler first joined Synovus as the Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO in 2020. Previously, Saddler had been a White House Fellow, serving in the Office of American Innovation. He is also a Navy SEAL serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Saddler’s last active-duty assignment in the Navy was serving as the Director of Intelligence Programs, which included development, approval, and oversight of U.S. Intelligence policy and special operations for the National Security Council at the White House. He served actively for eight years, after working at the IBM Corporation in New York City.