Director of Economic Development
Kansas State University
Rebecca is the Director of Economic Development at the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, where she leads the organization’s partnership with Knowledge-Based Economic Development, LLC in Manhattan, KS. Ms. Robinson focuses on recruiting or expanding businesses to the region that have a research-based relationship with Kansas State University. In partnership with the community and university, she has facilitated the recruitment of 16 technology-based companies to the Manhattan, Kansas region, creating over 388 new high-wage jobs and a projected economic impact of over $82.2 million. In addition, Ms. Robinson has stimulated University multidisciplinary research and industry collaboration through coordination of over 25 strategic faculty events, attended by over 900 faculty, staff, university administrators, and industry representatives. These events have led to over $1 million in new research awards and collaborations. She consults with emerging companies to provide strategy and business plan development and has facilitated over $350,000 in corporate sponsored research and $12.6 million in investment capital raised. Ms. Robinson has garnered international recognition for her economic development efforts at Kansas State University, including invited presentations at national conferences of the University-Industry Interaction Network (UIIN), the APLU Council on Innovation, Competitiveness & Economic Prosperity (CICEP), Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) and as a multi-year UEDA Award of Excellence finalist. She has participated in numerous University and Community committees and boards, including the KSU Office of Corporate Engagement Working Group, Flint Hills Economic Development District Governing Board, KSU Career Center Employer Advisory Board, the North Campus Corridor Master Planning Task Force and the K-State 2025 Research Themes Committee. Prior to joining the Institute for Commercialization, she worked in marketing, sales, and corporate retail planning. Ms. Robinson earned her master’s degree in Business Administration and her bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Spanish, and Leadership Studies, both from Kansas State University.