IRVINE -  The Irvine Chamber of Commerce has announced Christopher Lynch as the new vice president of economic development.

Beginning on Aug. 19, Lynch will be responsible for the marketing, management and day-to-day operations of business expansion, retention, attraction, innovation, tourism and international programs for Irvine.

"We are very excited to have Chris join the Irvine Chamber staff," said Tallia Hart, president and CEO of the Irvine Chamber. "He brings a wealth of knowledge that will certainly give Irvine an advantage in attracting new businesses to the city."

Previously, Lynch was the executive vice-president of the Santa Rosa  Chamber of Commerce. There he led the Chamber's efforts to attract high-paying jobs to the Santa Rosa area and handled government relations. Lynch also created a virtual business incubator to mentor start-up technology companies as well as an award-winning series of angel/venture capital investor conferences that led to over $100 million in investments.

Prior to his position at the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, Lynch was a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer, specializing in international business, trade and investment. He served at U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Germany, Spain, El Salvador, Chile, and Colombia. In Washington, he worked at the State Department, Commerce Department and the White House.

Lynch graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in international relations and holds a Masters in Economics from Virginia Tech.