BATON ROUGE — The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that LED Secretary Don Pierson will serve on the U.S. Investment Advisory Council, a 25-member panel of national experts who will advise the federal government on attracting and retaining foreign direct investment, or FDI, in the U.S.
Pierson’s selection reflects deep expertise and exceptional success in the economic development and FDI fields. For nearly 15 years, he has served in executive leadership roles at Louisiana Economic Development, the state agency focused on cultivating jobs, investment and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana.
During the past decade, Louisiana is one of only three states to attract over $100 billion in FDI activity. Louisiana’s per capita share far exceeds the other two states at more than three times that of Texas and seven times that of California.
“This is an extraordinarily well-deserved appointment for Secretary Pierson,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Don’s expertise in economic development is well-known internationally and in the key decision-making circles at the U.S. Department of Commerce and its SelectUSA program. We’re excited that he will be contributing in a more formal way to the advancement of the U.S. economy, and we’re so proud of his department’s achievements during our administration, with over $40 billion in new capital investment and more than 34,000 new jobs attracted to our state. His signature talent is building public-private partnerships across Louisiana that are advancing our state’s economy.”
Chartered in 2016, the U.S. Investment Advisory Council makes recommendations on infrastructure investment priorities, workforce development initiatives, and groundbreaking strategies to support economic development through new digital tools. Collectively, those recommendations are mobilized to generate additional foreign direct investment in the U.S.
“President Trump’s pro-growth policies have helped the United States retain and expand its leadership in the global business environment,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “The Investment Advisory Council will help us further develop, adapt and expand policies to help U.S. and international firms recognize there is no better place to do business, grow, succeed and create jobs.”
In Louisiana, FDI activity supports an estimated 70,000 jobs. The U.S. is home to more foreign direct investment than any other country, with a total stock of FDI valued at more than $4 trillion, according to the Commerce Department. That FDI activity supports approximately $370 billion in U.S. exports annually.
On the U.S. Investment Advisory Council, Secretary Pierson will join other business professionals from the public and private sectors. Council members include Chairman and CEO Steven Presley of Nestle USA; President and CEO Nancy McLernon of the Organization for International Investment; and President and CEO Jeff Finkle of the International Economic Development Council.
Pierson’s appointment to the U.S. Investment Advisory Council follows two major career honors in 2018, when he was named an Honorary Life Member by the Southern Economic Development Council and received the 2018 Eugene J. Schreiber Award from the World Trade Center of New Orleans for lifetime achievement in international trade.