Spotlight On … Robert Dugan, SVP, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce

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Robert Dugan joined the Sacramento Metro Chamber Jan. 1 as senior vice president of public policy and economic development. For the past four years, he has been the director of governmental and civic affairs for California State University Sacramento. While there, he advocated for campus facility needs and growth initiatives, and facilitated efforts to engage private industry with the university.

Why the Sacramento Metro Chamber?

“The Metro Chamber was looking for someone to strengthen partnerships. We need a strong regional chamber to be a place where everyone comes into play. We need to engage the membership to strengthen advocacy partnerships with community groups like the ethnic chambers. It’s also about supporting groups like Valley Vision who have data on meaningful research.”

What type of research has caught your eye?

“We have a big deficit on teachers in public schools – that was identified by Valley Vision through its research. Do we need rule changes or legislative changes that allow universities to get enough students through their credential process? If we need legislation, that’s where Metro Chamber should engage.”

What skills do you bring to this job?

“I have 25 years of experience working with communities on our biggest challenges. All cities and counties have priorities; they just need a regional partner. It’s about putting legs underneath those regional economic strategies.

“I’ve learned so much about how university research is tied to local economic development, and now I can bring that asset to the chamber.”

The Essentials

  • Age: 53
  • Education: B.S. in business administration, California State University Sacramento
  • Career: Dugan has spent his career in government and public affairs. He worked for a decade for state Sen. Tim Leslie, a Sacramento Republican, before entering public affairs and community relations for telecom and construction companies, including SBC Telecom, Pacific Telesis, Surewest and Granite Construction. He worked at Sacramento State for the past four years and joined the Metro Chamber early this month.
  • Personal: Lives in Roseville with wife Beth and sons Tom and Patrick.
  • Something colleagues would be surprised to learn about you: “I have built furniture, cabanas … and cars. My first car project with my sons was a Jeep crawler, and we just completed a 1968 Camaro from the ground up.”

Source: Sacramento Business Journal

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