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Leigh Hopkins, AICP


Leigh is a project manager with Startup Ecosystems group at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI²). Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Leigh worked in private consulting on planning and community development projects and in the public sector as a senior urban planner for the City of Atlanta with a focus on zoning compliance and urban development issues. Leigh brings practical planning experience and a focus on sustainable economic growth to the communities and organizations she assists. Leigh works with her team to help create competitive and quality climates for Georgia communities and businesses to grow and thrive.

Since joining Georgia Tech in 2008, Leigh has extended her knowledge-base to the energy sector, and served as an author on a research paper entitled, “Energy and Economic Development in the Southeast: Understanding the Impact of State and Federal Energy Policies on Traditional Economic Development Models.” Leigh has also worked to address the feasibility of developing community-crafted Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standard industrial parks. Most recently, Leigh has led the development and implementation of an advanced manufacturing strategy for the 15-county Northwest Georgia region, under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) grant project through the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

In addition to her project management role, Leigh also serves as Georgia Tech’s economic development course administrator with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), and organizes Georgia Tech’s Annual Basic Economic Development Course, which just completed its 48th year.  Leigh is an active member of the Georgia Economic Development Association (GEDA) and the American Planning Association/Georgia Planning Association.  Leigh has maintained her American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification since 2010. Leigh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia, and a Master’s degree from Georgia Tech in City and Regional Planning.