The Virginia Alliance for Semiconductor Technology (VAST) has made two pivotal appointments that reinforce the organization's dedication to advancing semiconductor technology and innovation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VAST is a collaborative initiative that serves as a catalyst for research, development, and economic growth in this critical industry, fostering partnerships and driving initiatives to position Virginia at the forefront of semiconductor technology.

These strategic hires are the first of several appointments that will play a vital role in shaping the future of the dynamic semiconductor ecosystem in Virginia, elevating the research and work of the alliance’s member organizations and aligning its mission with opportunities to enhance economic growth in Virginia.

Jessica Pointer is the associate director of communications and marketing. Pointer brings 18 years of marketing and communications experience, with a strong focus on shaping public opinion and advancing industries through integrated marketing strategies.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Pointer held both marketing and communications roles, executing high-impact campaigns to achieve public policy and organizational goals for corporations, nonprofits, and trade associations. She excels in storytelling, cultivating relationships, and building partnerships.

Additionally, Kiyah Duffey, the director of strategic initiatives at the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, has assumed the role of chief of staff. Duffey’s track record in strategic planning and cross-cutting analysis will provide invaluable support to Executive Director Masoud Agah in realizing VAST’s vision. As chief of staff, she will oversee the organization’s administrative functions and facilitate seamless collaboration between internal and external stakeholders.

"Jessica and Kiyah’s extensive backgrounds provide a dynamic foundation for VAST’s dedication to foster innovation, research, and training in the semiconductor field," Agah said. “Their roles will drive strategic initiatives like the Fast Track to Semiconductor Careers program and enhance the organization's capacity to act as a catalyst for economic development and job creation in Virginia.”

Learn more about VAST and its mission at

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