The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has appointed Susan Priest as its Director.
Dr Priest, the Executive Director for Business Development at the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), will head up a new three person independent secretariat.
She will be responsible for working with the South East LEP’s chairman, John Spence, to achieve SELEP’s purpose of creating the most enterprising economy in England.
Dr Priest joined SEEDA in 2000 as Head of Business Support and later became Deputy Director in the International & Business Division. In 2003 she was appointed Area Director for Kent and Medway before leading the Agency’s re-structuring programme from January 2009, then managing as Executive Director from November 2009 the bulk of SEEDA’s investment into business and latterly acting as deputy CEO through SEEDA’s closure programme.
Before joining SEEDA she worked for the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) where she redesigned the internal national management and monitoring systems across the Chamber of Commerce network.
Dr Priest received her PhD from St Catharine’s College Cambridge, for her which she examined the effectiveness of government policy to stimulate SME growth and competitiveness from the 1970s through to the mid 1990s.
She said: "I am delighted to be joining the South East LEP at this time of tremendous opportunity to enhance the growth and competitiveness of the area. There is much to do and with the backing of major businesses, local and central government alike, I'm looking forward to having real impact in this very exciting role."
South East LEP chairman, John Spence, said: “The South East LEP is focused on optimising opportunities for and removing the barriers to growth and enterprise across the whole area. We are focused on making clear strategic interventions and enabling the activities that will enhance the economy of both our area and the whole of UK plc.
“I firmly believe that in Susan we have the person with the right calibre, skills and experience to drive forward our ambitions.”