BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson is among 34 international business and economic leaders appointed to the U.S. Investment Advisory Council by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. The group will serve a two-year term, advising Raimondo on how government policies and programs affect the United States’ ability to attract and facilitate foreign business investment.
“For the last decade, the United States has held the position as the No. 1 destination for foreign direct investment thanks to our incredible customer base, innovative culture and world-class workforce,” Raimondo said. “The U.S. Investment Advisory Council will play a vital role in providing recommendations on programs and policies to continue to attract and retain foreign investment in the United States. Representation from business and economic leaders on the council is critical to our global success, and I am excited to welcome our new members and look forward to working with them.”
The council serves as the principal advisory body to the secretary of commerce on the promotion and retention of foreign direct investment to the United States. Since its inception in 2016, the council has promoted initiatives to attract and retain FDI. Past recommendations include programs and policies related to infrastructure investment priorities, improving U.S. workforce development initiatives and improving digital tools to support economic development.
“The attraction of foreign direct investment is an important aspect of our successful economic development effort in Louisiana,” Pierson said. “Louisiana has ranked first among all states for per capita FDI for each of the past 10 years, and No. 4 for total FDI during the same period. I appreciate the opportunity to represent Louisiana on the Investment Advisory Council for the next two years, and look forward to further strengthening FDI productivity on a national level.”
Pierson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and served as an infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division. He has more than three decades of economic development experience, including 17 years as executive director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation. Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed him secretary of Louisiana Economic Development in 2016. Under Secretary Pierson’s leadership, LED became the only state agency in the U.S. recognized as an Accredited Economic Development Organization by the International Economic Development Council. He received the 2018 Eugene J. Schreiber Award from the World Trade Center of New Orleans, recognizing lifetime achievement in international trade.
About the IAC
The U.S. Investment Advisory Council advises the secretary of commerce on the development and implementation of strategies and programs to attract and retain foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. The IAC can have up to 40 members who serve a two-year term. Members are business or economic development leaders representing various industries, companies, associations, regional, state and local economic development organizations, and other organizations. The IAC is responsible for: advising the secretary of commerce on U.S. government policies and programs that affect FDI; identifying and recommending programs and policies to help the United States attract and retain FDI; and recommending ways to support the United States remaining the world’s preeminent destination for FDI. For more information, visit www.trade.gov/selectusa-investment-advisory-council.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant economy. It is the only state agency in the U.S. accredited by the International Economic Development Council, boasting award-winning programs like LED FastStart, rated the No. 1 customized workforce training program in the U.S. 13 years in a row. In 2021, LED attracted 64 new economic development projects representing over 18,100 new direct and indirect jobs, 9,700 retained jobs and more than $20.5 billion in new capital investment. Explore how LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana and employers of all sizes at OpportunityLouisiana.com.