Sandra Watson is an economic development professional with 28 years of leadership experience in business attraction and expansion, innovation, entrepreneurship, economic policy and workforce development. She and her teams have worked with more than 1,000 companies that have committed to creating more than 160,000 quality jobs and investing more than $15 billion in capital in the state.
Currently, Ms. Watson serves as the President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), a public-private partnership that leads statewide economic development. The unique structure of the ACA brings together leaders from private industry, academia and all three branches of state government.
In addition to leading the ACA and serving on its Board of Directors, Ms. Watson also serves on Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s leadership team as his Senior Economic Policy Advisor. She was instrumental in advancing Governor Ducey’s vision for the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM) in Arizona and is a Founding Partner on the IAM Board of Directors. She is also a current member of the National State Science and Technology Institute Board of Trustees. Ms. Watson also served as Executive Director of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano’s Council on Innovation & Technology which advanced Arizona’s first innovation and technology roadmap.