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Southern Research selects new president and CEO

May 13, 2021

Birmingham’s Southern Research announced today that Josh Carpenter will be its new president and CEO, effective June 1.

Allen Bolton will also serve as its new executive vice president for strategy and finance.

Carpenter recently served as the City of Birmingham’s director of innovation and economic opportunity, where he led the city’s efforts in workforce development, COVID recovery and business expansion. He will lead the independent, non-profit scientific research organization which employs more than 400 engineers and scientists.

UAB President Ray Watts, who chairs the Southern Research Board of Directors, said Carpenter and Bolton are “forward-thinking leaders who are ready to chart a bold new course for Southern Research.” Alabama Power President and CEO Mark Crosswhite, a board member, said the two men’s “vision and expertise will play an important role in leading this institution forward as a continued center of excellence.”

Carpenter also previously served as UAB’s director of external affairs and earned a doctorate in political economy from the University of Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship.

“I am truly honored to take the helm of Southern Research and lead this incredible team that is finding solutions to improve people’s lives around the world,” he said. “Southern Research has had 80 successful years, but I know the best is yet to come.”

Bolton most recently served as UAB’s senior vice president for finance and administration and served as a Southern Research board member. He was also executive administrator at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the largest research center in the University of Alabama System.

“Discoveries made at Southern Research have provided breakthroughs in cancer research, pushed the boundaries of science and saved lives,” Bolton said. “I am grateful for this opportunity to work alongside dedicated and talented people who have an unmatched passion for science and discovery.”

Southern Research generates more than $150 million in annual economic impact and supports more than 1,000 Alabama jobs.

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