Oakland University Hires Longtime Oakland County Leader

Oakland University (OU) Names Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

Irene Spanos, longtime Director of Economic Development & Community Affairs for Oakland County, has joined Oakland University as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. She began her new role on December 10.

Irene Spanos Headshot

Irene Spanos

“We are thrilled to have Irene join the OU family in this critical leadership role,” Vice President University Advancement Michael Westfall said in announcing the hiring. “A friend to all she meets, Irene brings a wealth of experience that will enhance our valued relationships with the corporate community.”

Spanos was appointed director of the Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in 2011. There, she oversaw all aspects of Economic Development and Community Affairs for Oakland County including the county’s role in planning, business attraction and expansion, community development, marketing & communications and workforce/ talent development.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the residents, communities and businesses of Oakland County over the last 14 years running the economic development department of the county government,” said Spanos. “I am thrilled to take those global relationships and experience from various technical industries to Oakland University. It’s exciting to see where Dr. Pescovitz and her leadership team are taking OU and I’m humbled to be a part of that team.”

Between 2004 and 2011, Spanos worked as a senior business development representative leading Oakland County’s Medical Main Street initiative, the county’s 4,300 life science company cluster. She also led Tech248, the 2,000 company IT/Tech Cluster. Both programs helped brand Oakland County as a premier destination for world-class health care, medical manufacturing and technology business opportunities.

Prior to joining Oakland County, Spanos was a marketing, advertising and public relations supervisor at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for more than a decade.

Currently Spanos serves as a Board of Trustees member for McLaren Oakland and Global Ties Detroit. She is an Advisory Board Member of the Michigan Defense Center and for the OU INCubator. She is also a member of the International Economic Development Council’s research group.

A 1993 graduate of Wayne State University, Spanos holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing.

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