RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) has recognized Sara Lawrence, director of economic development at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, as a 2022 Women in Business Award recipient. The Women in Business Awards program recognizes women who reside in the Triangle, have a proven track record of being dynamic leaders and have made significant accomplishments in business and/or their community. Lawrence was recognized in the Inspiration category.
Lawrence’s team works with business, governments and non-profits to create strategies, provide data support and conduct evaluations on ways to improve quality job creation, entrepreneurship and industry diversification for greater economic well-being for people and places across different regions in the U.S. and the world. She has worked in over 20 U.S. states and 14 countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Central America.
“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to join the fabulous women, past and present, who have received the TBJ awards. It is indeed a great honor,” said Lawrence. “This is an incredible time to celebrate women in business!”
This past year, Lawrence created and launched the Idea Lab for Equitable Economic Development. The lab includes the combined input of representatives from institutions and businesses across the globe to help provide economic development practitioners, program directors, business leaders, researchers, investors and policymakers with approaches they need to create more broad-based growth across communities.
Outside of RTI, Lawrence served as a working group member for the U.S. Council on Competitiveness 2019-2020 and was the founding manager of policy initiatives at NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues.
“Sara has longstanding passion for finding ways to generate economic opportunity and resiliency in communities and regions,” said Rebecca Nicholson, vice president of the Environmental Engineering and Economics division at RTI. “Her innovation, leadership and dedication to RTI’s mission of improving the human condition have been invaluable to the growth of RTI’s economic development practice and serve as an inspiration to others.”
TBJ has previously honored RTI leaders Andrea Mohamed, Anuja Purohit, Nicole Barnes, Lisa May, who has since retired, Karen Davis, Jacqueline Olich, Doris Rouse, and Wendee Wechsberg with Women in Business Awards. RTI is proud to be recognized for excellence in women in leadership.