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Mark Phillips steps down as DEED commissioner, Katie Clark steps in

Gov. Mark Dayton says Mark Phillips, commissioner of the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, is resigning effective Friday to “pursue opportunities in the private sector,” Politics in Minnesota reports.

Dayton has promoted Katie Clark, the head of Minnesota’s Trade Office, to lead the state’s economic and workforce development agency, the Star Tribune reports. Clark, 31, was the finance director for Dayton’s 2010 campaign for governor. In addition, the University of Minnesota graduate has worked at Target and National Wind, a start-up wind energy firm.

She was also a recipient of the 2012 Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” award.

You can read the governor’s news release below:

SAINT PAUL, MN – Today Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment of Katie Clark as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  Governor Dayton appointed Clark as Executive Director of the Minnesota Trade Office in January of 2011. Clark succeeds Commissioner Mark Phillips, who is resigning effective Friday to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

“I thank Mark Phillips for his dedicated service to DEED and the people of Minnesota. I know that he will continue to be successful in his future endeavors,” Governor Mark Dayton said.

“I have the utmost confidence in DEED’s new Commissioner, Katie Clark. Commissioner Clark’s leadership skills were well-developed by her work at Target Corporation and National Wind. As Director of Minnesota’s International Trade Office, she has proven that she knows how to turn her ideas into action.

“Ms. Clark shares my commitment to hard work, organizational excellence, and exceptional public service.  I know that she will be an outstanding Commissioner.”

As Director of the Minnesota Trade Office, Clark led efforts to increase Foreign Direct Investment in Minnesota and developed a coaching program for new export companies to help small and mid-sized companies develop export plans. Clark was also instrumental in helping launch the Minneapolis-St. Paul Export Initiative, a strategic partnership between the Minnesota Trade Office, the city of Minneapolis, and the Brookings Institute which aims to double the regions exports by 2017.

Clark brings years of experience in business development and recruitment in the private sector, including with one of Minnesota’s largest corporations, Target Corporation. She has managed large-scale, multi-million dollar operations; built strategic partnerships at the highest levels of business and philanthropy; and created and implemented nationwide marketing campaigns. In addition to working for Target Corporation, Katie served as the Director of Community Relations for a startup wind energy developer, National Wind and as Finance Director for Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota.

“I am honored to be asked to serve as Commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development. Minnesota’s economy is diverse, our workforce is strong and public and private entities are effectively collaborating to spur economic growth throughout the state. Governor Dayton agrees that the time is right to make economic development our top priority and we look forward to working with multiple partners to increase Minnesota’s competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said Clark.

Clark serves on the advisory boards for the University of Minnesota’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the University of Minnesota Carlson School Global Institute, the Minnesota Department of Education Global Competencies Advisory Board, and SIDO, the State International Development Organization. She graduated from the University of Minnesota and was a recipient of the 2012 MSP Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” Award.

“Through our work on the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Export Initiative, I’ve seen Commissioner Clark’s leadership skills firsthand. She effectively led a diverse group of economic development leaders to create an export expansion initiative whose success is central to the development and growth of the twin cities’ economy. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with Commissioner Clark to build our state’s economy,” said Bill Blazar, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Business Development for Grow Minnesota.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development



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