Auburn University Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI)

“I was involved in the creation of the ACE program almost 15 years ago and our office has continued to support the ACE mission of assisting Alabama’s smaller communities in their efforts to become great places to live and work. I know from first-hand experience what a difference ACE can make in the development of our smaller communities.”

Joe A. Sumners, Ph.D.
Executive Director – Government & Economic Development Institute – Auburn University

Dr. Joe Sumners is the ACE representative for Auburn University’s Government and Economic Development Institute. GEDI unifies the resources and programs of two existing outreach units at Auburn University, the Center for Governmental Services and the Economic and Community Development Institute to form a higher capacity unit with a broader range of coordinated services for Alabama communities. Auburn University is a recognized leader in this state for providing high quality training and assistance to local governments and economic development agencies. The GEDI provides comprehensive support for community development in the State of Alabama to developers, mayors, community leaders, commissioners and state officials.

GEDI’s staff promote economic prosperity and improved quality of life for communities throughout Alabama by educating economic developers, community leaders, and students; providing a broad range of community support services; conducting research; and communicating best practices and success strategies. Because GEDI believes that successful development efforts depend upon building connections within communities and across regions, they partner with a wide variety of Alabama organizations to support economic and community development initiatives throughout the state. For more information, visit the website: