BRYAN J. BARNHOUSEPresident/CEO
As President and CEO for the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA), Bryan jointly leads a system of programs that help the state’s research institutions attract, recognize, and retain top talent and intellectual capital; a system that produces scientific discovery and innovation, fosters opportunities for collaboration, and positions Arkansas as a dynamic place for novel research. Through this work, he serves an enterprise making strategic investments in key research leaders who plant the seeds for a brighter future for Arkansas and beyond.
Prior to becoming CEO, Bryan served as Chief Operating Officer and previously as Vice President of ARA. He led the launch of the ARA Impact Grants pilot program that invested $1 million across 15 awards to partner-university researchers. Those projects have generated $9.5 million in direct follow-on funding to the state. He also managed $5 million in federal research contracts and grants that leveraged and organized some of the state’s most unique research competencies.
Prior to joining ARA, Bryan worked with the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County in Southeast Arkansas, where he oversaw industrial recruitment and expansion projects, regional workforce development efforts, and site location marketing. Before that, he managed the Arkansas Economic Development Commission programs on foreign direct investment recruitment and trade opportunities with Asia. Before coming to Arkansas, Bryan worked in Washington, D.C., at the International City/County Management Association, coordinating federal business development and managing military and technology projects, and in Los Angeles, California, at Consensus Planning Group, supporting the management of public-involvement programs around land use, transportation, and technology initiatives.
Bryan holds a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis on intergovernmental management and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Southern California. Bryan’s community involvement centers on the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission, an organization that uses citizen-to-citizen diplomacy to cultivate relationships between Little Rock and cities around the world. Bryan and his wife, Jennifer, reside in the South Main (SoMa) area of downtown Little Rock.
A common theme throughout his professional career and personal life is a passion for the growth and prosperity of his community, which he has been proud to put to work in Arkansas since 2008.