Georgia Forward Appoints New Executive Director

August 20,2015

GeorgiaForward, a statewide, non-partisan, non-profit organization, announces the selection of Kris Hattaway Vaughn as its new Executive Director.

GeorgiaForward, founded in 2010, has a successful track record of bringing together leaders from across sectors to explore long-term solutions to Georgia’s pressing policy challenges and serving as a catalyst for cross-sector partnerships and innovation.

On August 3, GeorgiaForward hired Macon-native Kris Hattaway Vaughn to serve as its Executive Director. Under Vaughn’s direction, GeorgiaForward will continue to work to bring leaders together to articulate a common vision for our state, respective of regional strengths and needs and focused on smart, bold actions. Vaughn is no stranger to GeorgiaForward having been involved in all four of the organization’s statewide Forums as well as being a member of the inaugural Young Gamechangers class and leading the 2013 program in Dublin/Laurens County, while on loan from NewTown Macon. She has more than six years of community and economic development experience with both nonprofit/public-private partnership work and government.

AJ Robinson, Board Chairman of GeorgiaForward says, “We are fortunate to have Kris leading GeorgiaForward into its next chapter. Her extensive involvement with Young Gamechangers coupled with her passion for community and economic development and her enthusiasm surrounding emerging leaders from across the State positions us to thrive in 2016 and beyond.”

One of GeorgiaForward’s most notable programs is Young Gamechangers. In 2012, GeorgiaForward selected 25 young professional, emerging leaders from across Georgia to work with leaders in Americus/Sumter County on solving some of its persistent challenges. In 2013-2014, GeorgiaForward selected 35 young leaders to work with Dublin/Laurens County on big ideas and recommendations for some of that community’s most persistent challenges.
"From start to finish, the Young Gamechangers brought a fresh prospective to Dublin by engaging the entire community. From our leaders and business owners to organizations and residents, the process was inclusive and enlightening. A little more than a year later, Dublin has begun to implement each of the Big Ideas presented by the Young Gamechangers,” says City of Dublin Mayor Phil Best. “We recently completed a comprehensive plan for a bike trail and river walk, have activated a Young Professionals group, are actively researching retail recruitment, and have continued discussions sparked by the Gamechangers’ willingness to look at old issues with new eyes and open minds. They challenged us, refreshed us, and encouraged us to tackle issues and, in the end, further united a community known for its unity."

About GeorgiaForward: GeorgiaForward is a non-partisan, non-profit organization working as a catalyst to improve Georgia through cross-sector, statewide conversations and partnerships by engaging young professionals and business, political, academic, and civic leaders.