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Thursday, February 22, 2018
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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


     02/18 - Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana

How widespread is the problem in our state? Take the survey!
Governor John Bel Edward’s deputy chief of staff, Johnny Anderson, resigned in November due to allegations of sexual harassment. A month earlier, celebrity chef John Besh stepped down from his restaurant management group after sexual harassment accusations. Charges of sexual misconduct in the workplace against celebrities and government officials made state and national headlines during the last several months of 2017.

How widespread is the problem in our state? Where is the distinction drawn between boorish acts and abusive behavior? Is every circumstance unique or should all offenders be dealt with in the same manner? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana” Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, February 27)

Panelists:
- Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell; Senate Select Committee on Women and Children
- Craig Broome; Louisiana Society of Human Resource
- Janice Lansing, Chairperson of Governor Edwards’ Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Policy Task Force
- Allison A. Jones; attorney; Downer, Jones & Wilhite in Shreveport

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and Southern University Vice President for External Affairs, Robyn Merrick, host the discussion.


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