Blakely Blackford is the outreach coordinator for research in innovation and entrepreneurship across the entire university. She identifies and seeks to facilitate opportunities for collaborative research and analysis between different disciplines and fields of expertise. She also interprets academic research findings for external stakeholders, including policymakers, the press, and the public.

Prior to joining the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Blakely received dual graduate degrees in environmental management and business administration (MEM/MBA) from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. In graduate school, she concentrated on the design and analysis of sustainable systems, particularly on energy and resource management. She was a leadership fellow for UNC’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise (CSE) and interned as a supply chain analyst at Neutrogena in Los Angeles. Before graduate school, she worked as a news wire editor, an assigning photo editor, and a writer for Bloomberg LP in New York.

Blakely is from Charleston, South Carolina. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Davidson College.