Office of Small Business Development Centers | Leadership

Lori Gillen

Associate Administrator
Lori Gillen

Lori Gillen has more than 30 years of experience in the field of economic and business development working with government, non-profit organizations, and the entrepreneurial sector.

She is currently the Associate Administrator for Small Business Development Centers at the Small Business Administration (SBA), where she oversees one of the Agency’s signature programs.  The Small Business Development Centers Program is a cooperative effort of the private sector, the educational community, and federal, state and local governments. It enhances economic development by providing small businesses with management and technical assistance.  Currently, there are 63 Lead Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) -- one in every state (Texas has four, California has six), the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- with a network of more than 900 service locations.

Prior to joining SBA in 2014, Lori served as the Managing Director of the Maryland Women’s Business Center, which she co-founded shortly after starting her own MBE-certified consulting business.

Lori worked for Montgomery County Government for ten years, starting as the Director of the Silver Spring Regional Center at the height of a multi-million dollar revitalization effort before moving to the Office of the County Executive and Department of Economic Development where she led special projects in business and economic development.

For much of the 1990’s Lori worked for two non-profit organizations in Baltimore, The Abell Foundation and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, advancing urban policy and business development solutions to create jobs and revitalize the city. She began her career at the Northeast-Midwest Institute before moving to the National Council for Urban Economic Development (now IEDC), where she ran the training program for economic development officials across the country.

She earned an MBA in Financial Management from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Urban Affairs from George Washington University. She has written or contributed to more than a dozen publications, reports and articles on a range of economic and business development subjects.

Lori lives with her husband and two children in Rockville, Maryland.


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