The Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) has announced that founder Jerry Adams is retiring from the public-private partnership effective Dec. 31.
The group's board of trustees has appointed current CEO Bryan Barnhouse to be president and CEO. He takes over Jan. 1.
Adams, a former Acxiom executive, founded the organization in 2008 to support the recruitment, recognition and retention of strategic research talent in the state, and to accelerate researchers' impact on the economic future of the state and the nation.
“Promoting strategic research talent and an environment where they can be successful are at
the core of everything we do,” Adams said in a news release. “It defines our work and inspires our vision.”
ARA board members include chief executives from 20 of the state's most prominent companies, including Entergy Arkansas, Murphy USA, Hytrol and Simmons Bank. It also includes the chancellors of the state's five major research universities.
Barnhouse joined ARA six years ago and has served as the group's chief operating officer and vice president. He previously oversaw industrial recruitment and expansion projects at the Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County and managed the Arkansas Economic Development Commission programs on foreign direct investment recruitment and trade opportunities with Asia.
He holds a master's in public administration and a bachelor's in international relations from the University of Southern California.
“Jerry has grown this organization from an idea to living proof that Arkansas benefits from the
presence of more innovative research leaders,” Barnhouse said in the release. “ARA is primed to
continue investing in this vision and I’m excited to build on Jerry’s legacy of leadership to focus
on research as the fuel for economic and human progress in Arkansas and beyond.”