Jindal Economic Development Leader Leaving For LSU Position

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's economic development secretary, Stephen Moret, will leave the job in May to lead LSU's chief fundraising organization.

         The university system announced Monday that Moret has been named president and CEO of the LSU Foundation. Jindal hasn't named a new secretary of the Department of Economic Development. His office said the governor will name someone "in the coming weeks."

         An LSU graduate and former student body president, Moret has been with the Jindal administration since the governor took office in 2008. He led Jindal's focus on attracting new business and generating new jobs for the state, as Louisiana's business climate was credited nationally with making significant strides in recruitment efforts.

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         Moret's exit wasn't unexpected, since the term-limited Jindal will leave office in less than a year. The governor praised Moret's work, saying in a statement that the secretary and his department "have collaboratively and systematically worked to improve the image of Louisiana in the minds of business executives nationwide — and they have succeeded."

         The Department of Economic Development says it has secured $62 billion in projects during Moret's tenure.

         Before taking the position, Moret had worked as president of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. He also previously served as assistant to the LSU chancellor, and as speculation began about where he'd go next, Moret's name regularly came up in connection with possible LSU positions.

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         "Stephen brings many years of diverse leadership experience to the position, and he will be key in helping us enhance LSU's fundraising efforts," T. Cass Gaiennie, chair of the LSU Foundation Board of Directors, said in a statement.

         The foundation coordinates fundraising activities across LSU campuses and various support organizations. The flagship campus in Baton Rouge lags many of its peers nationally in its attraction of donations. LSU System President F. King Alexander has placed an emphasis on bolstering fundraising efforts.

         Describing LSU as "one of Louisiana's most precious economic assets," Moret said he wants to "build a more robust philanthropic support base that will enable the university to better sustain the important work of its faculty, continue and enhance its transformative impact on the lives of students and invest in opportunities for academic pre-eminence."

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         Moret will take over from Lee Griffin, who has been leading the LSU Foundation since 2011 and plans to retire.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte




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