The House speaker will lead the trade group that supports effective commercialization of technology.
Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher was named Monday to become president of the Minnesota High Tech Association and will start work at the Roseville-based trade group in January.
Kelliher, a 12-year legislator who lost the DFL gubernatorial primary this year, said she is passionate about education and job growth, issues for which the nonprofit association advocates.
She stressed the importance of synergy between higher education and the commercialization of research. It's important to foster innovation at the university level, she said, while also ensuring the commercialization doesn't get lost to other regions of the country.
"I will be a big part of making sure that we continue to strive to [have] that culture of innovation," Kelliher said.
The Minnesota High Tech Association's president is responsible for providing strategic guidance, representing issues important to members, establishing and maintaining relationships, developing staff and growing membership, among other duties. The group has more than 300 members.
Association members said they believe Kelliher's experience and the relationships she's developed will aid the group's efforts to promote the state's technology.
"We absolutely felt that we found the best person and best leader to move the organization forward," said Joy Lindsay, chair of the association's board and president of StarTec Investments.
Kelliher had considered taking other roles, including superintendent of Minneapolis parks. She withdrew her name from consideration for that position last week and said Monday that the job with the High Tech Association is "a better fit."
The position became open this summer when the last president, Kate Rubin, left to take a job as UnitedHealth Group's vice president of social responsibility and United Health Foundation's executive director.
Lindsay declined to reveal the president's salary, but said it is in line with similar jobs in similar associations. Rubin received $230,575 in total compensation in 2008, according to records on file with the IRS. The most Kelliher could have earned as superintendent of Minneapolis parks under state law was $150,065.
Staff writers Patrick Kennedy and Steve Brandt contributed to this report.
Wendy Lee • 612-673-1712