Economic development gets new acting director

Gov. Jay Nixon has named a new acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Nixon said Friday the role will be filled by Mike Downing, who has served as the agency’s deputy director of business development. He replaces Chris Pieper, who has been the department’s acting director for more than a year. Nixon says Pieper is rejoining the governor’s office staff as a legal and policy adviser.

Downing is the fifth person to lead the Economic Development department since Nixon became governor in 2009.

The department has been without a permanent director since David Kerr resigned at the end of 2011. Nixon appointed Jason Hall as Kerr’s replacement, but Hall failed to win Senate confirmation, and Nixon has used an acting director since then.


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