karen_mills1Karen Gordon Mills is President Obama’s pick to head up the Small Business Administration.

A graduate of Harvard (where she also received her MBA), Mills has hands-on experience when it comes to using government to promote small business needs.

She currently heads a private equity firm in Brunswick, Maine, where her husband is President of Bowdoin College (my alma mater…go Polar Bears!)

Her research on economic business clusters in Maine, along with personal lobbying efforts, helped convince the Maine legislature to pass a $50 million research and development bond to spur innovation by small businesses.

She co-founded a NewYork-based private equity firm in 1999, Solera, with  two female partners, suggesting she will be an advocate for women-owned businesses.  This should make the Orange County Chapter of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) quite happy.

Research she conducted at the Brookings Institution, indicates that businesses seeking to trade outside their immediate region can have a greater impact on the local economy than those that only do business locally.  Businesses operating in this manner bring in more money and attract new businesses.

Said Mills, profiled here in Businessweek, “America’s spirit of entrepreneurship is one of our greatest assets, as we compete in the global economy.”