Ava ParkerAn attorney with a decade of experience in higher education, Parker is uniquely qualified to guide and implement the goals of Florida Poly. Her background includes governance positions in the State University System of Florida, where she chaired the Board of Governors, a constitutional body created to develop and direct policies for the entire State University System. Under her leadership, Parker oversaw the education of 320,000 students at 11 public universities in Florida. Parker’s service on the BOG spanned 10 years and three Administrations. She was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush as an inaugural member and then reappointed by Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott. In addition to her role as Chair of the BOG, Parker also served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Facilities Committee, which oversaw capital expenditures for construction, development and expansion. Parker was a charter member for the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees. She led a BOG commission that explored the technology skills gap and future needs in higher education for worker education, training and skills.

Parker is a partner at Lawrence & Parker, PA, which offers legal services in the areas of corporate, transactional, civil litigation and public finance. She is president of Linking Solutions, a consulting firm that has produced a national symposium for municipalities exploring expansion of technology services for its citizens. Linking Solutions provides training, project management and back office support.

She is founding Executive Director of the Emerging Issues Policy Forum, which brings lawmakers and industry leaders together to address and resolve regulatory barriers in the areas of energy, communications and information technology.  Parker served previously on the state’s first Internet Task Force, a position she held under Gov. Jeb Bush. She served as subject matter expert in e-laws at ITFlorida, which advances Florida’s high-tech industry.

Parker is a graduate of Leadership Florida, Class of XXI, a statewide nonprofit organization that trains individuals who show a passion and commitment to make a difference as a Florida leader. In 2013, Parker was among the Women of Influence honored by the Jacksonville Business Journal. The Girl Scouts also recognized Parker in its annual Women of Distinction Awards in 2007.

She is a graduate of the University of Florida Law School and the University of Florida’s College of Journalism. She is married and has two school-aged children.