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Panelist Bio


Don Pierson
Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development

In January 2016, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Don Pierson, CEcD, to serve as Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. Pierson served as Assistant Secretary and Senior Director of Business Development for LED since January 2005.

With executive-level leadership, his duties include the implementation of domestic and international economic development programs, and job retention and creation efforts for the State of Louisiana.

He is Gov. John Bel Edwards’ primary representative to governmental officials, local communities, and site selector consultants on all economic issues. Pierson possesses more than 27 years of economic development experience, and is a certified economic development professional.


Experience

Before coming to LED, Pierson served for 17 years in the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana, community as Executive Director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation.

In 2000, Gov. Mike Foster appointed Pierson to the Louisiana Economic Development Council. A year later, Governor Foster again appointed him, this time to the Department of Economic Development Reorganization Task Force.

In 2005, Gov. Kathleen Blanco appointed Pierson to serve as Assistant Secretary for LED. Aware of Pierson’s economic development expertise and leadership, Governor Blanco’s successor, Gov. Bobby Jindal, appointed Pierson as Assistant Secretary for LED in 2008. Pierson then became Governor Jindal’s appointee for The Aerospace Alliance for Aviation in 2009, and in January 2016 became the Secretary for LED.
Pierson is a past-president of the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association, LIDEA. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Southern Economic Development Council, an organization with representatives from all Southern states. Pierson also is a past-president of the Louisiana Chamber of
Commerce Executives Association.


Education

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Pierson served as an Airborne- and Ranger-Qualified Infantry Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division for five years. He has also served as a deacon at Kings Highway Christian Church in Shreveport. He is married to Kay Spearman Pierson and has two adult children, Jerry and Rachel.

Current Topic


     11/17 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?
For decades Louisiana has proclaimed itself as the “Sportsman’s Paradise.” But for today’s hunters, changes to Louisiana’s landscape have caused a decline in the quality of the state’s deer habitat and smaller game. For coastal fishermen, private property rights often unduly restrict access to waters that are considered public in any other state.

Louisiana Public Square explores some of the challenges that the state’s hunters and anglers face on “Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?” Wednesday, November 22 at 7p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, November 21)
Learn More!
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     01/17 - Healthy New Year! (Encores 12/17)

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

Recent Topics


     10/17 - HIV/AIDS in Louisiana

How many people are living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana and what resources are available to them?

     09/17 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges face our returning veterans?

     08/17 - Studying TOPS

Is TOPS a worthwhile incentive or a middle-class tax break?

     07/17 - Industrial Tax Matters

What has been the impact of the changes made to the tax exemption plan?
»»» View all Topics!
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