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About APLU

Sheila A. Martin, Ph.D.

Sheila A. Martin, Ph.D.
Vice President, Economic Development & Community Engagement (OEDCE)


  • June 4, 2019
  • Sheila Martin, APLU’s Vice President of Economic Development and Community Engagement, spoke on the role of universities in workforce development at the National Governors Association’s Good Jobs for All Americans Summit. She also authored a white paper on how higher education is responding to 21st Century Workforce Needs that was shared at the conference in Whitefish, Montana on May 22.

  • September 30, 2019
  • Sheila Martin, APLU’s Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, spoke on a panel examining the importance of research that measures and communicates universities’ impact on society. The session took place September 26 at the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science Summit. Martin’s remarks explored the value of undergraduate research experience for student success; tracking graduate workforce outcomes, and the impact of universities on the development of new industries.

  • May 25, 2020
  • In a new op-ed for IndustryWeek, APLU’s Shalin Jyotishi and Sheila Martin share findings from research around how public research universities are partnering with American manufacturers and federal manufacturing centers to boost innovation and competitiveness. Read the article here

  • March 5, 2021
  • Sheila Martin, APLU's Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, spoke on a panel at the Western Academic Leadership Forum about supporting rural colleges through collaboration.

Sheila Martin is Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. She leads and engages with senior university leaders and policy stakeholders on issues relating to talent and workforce development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and social, cultural and community engagement including directing APLU’s Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE).

Prior to coming to APLU, Dr. Martin served as Director of the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies and the Population Research Center at Portland State University.  She provided a portal to the University's knowledge resources for the community and directed the Institute’s research and service activities. Dr. Martin continues to serve as a faculty member in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and planning. She teaches courses on economic development policy and mentors students interested in economic and community development and community engagement. 

Prior to joining PSU in 2004, Dr. Martin served as Washington State Governor Gary Locke's economic development advisor, developing and implementing the Governor’s economic development initiatives. Dr. Martin also worked as a Senior Economist at the Research Triangle Institute.  While at RTI, Sheila built a research program in technology economics and policy and researched the value of new innovation and the impact of technology in industry.  Sheila earned a B. A. in Economics and Political Science from Southern Illinois University, M.A. in International Studies from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in Economics from Iowa State University.