Leadership Bios

Louisiana Economic Development is led by a dedicated team of experienced professionals who believe in Louisiana's potential.


In January 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Don Pierson to serve as Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development (LED). Pierson served as assistant secretary and senior director of business development for LED since January 2005. With executive-level leadership, his duties include the implementation of domestic and international economic development programs and job retention and creation efforts for the State of Louisiana. He is Gov. John Bel Edwards’ primary representative to governmental officials, local communities and site selector consultants on all economic issues. Pierson has over 27 years of economic development experience, and is a certified economic development professional.

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Gov. Kathleen Blanco appointed Pierson in 2005 to serve as assistant secretary for LED. In 2008, Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed Pierson as assistant secretary for LED and designated Pierson as his appointee for The Aerospace Alliance for Aviation 2009.

Prior to joining LED, Pierson served for 17 years in the Shreveport/Bossier community as Executive Director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation. In 2000, Gov. Mike Foster appointed Pierson to the Louisiana Economic Development Council. A year later, Gov. Foster again appointed him, this time to the Department of Economic Development Reorganization Task Force.

Pierson is a past-president of the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Southern Economic Development Council, an organization with representatives from all southern states. Pierson is also a past-president of the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Executives Association.  

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Pierson served as an Airborne and Ranger Qualified Infantry Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division for five years. He has also served as a deacon at Kings Highway Christian Church in Shreveport.


B.S., United States Military Academy
Commissioned Officer, United States Army

Leadership Mandi Mitchell


Assistant Secretary

Mandi Mitchell serves as LED’s assistant secretary, managing initiatives and programs related to legislative and congressional relations, business intelligence, community competitiveness, small business services and state economic competitiveness.

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Prior to her appointment as assistant secretary in June 2015, Mitchell served as the director of governmental affairs and federal programs, which involved the expanded responsibilities of congressional affairs and LED efforts related to ports, transportation and coastal restoration. In 2012, Mandi joined LED as director of governmental affairs with a focus on working with legislative leaders and local government officials on LED priorities and issues. 

Before joining LED, Mitchell was an independent business owner and consultant, providing governmental affairs, legislative lobbying, business development and community relations consulting services to a number of business clients. She served as the regional manager of external affairs at AT&T (formerly BellSouth Telecommunications) from 2004 to 2009, and worked in the field of electrical engineering from 1998 through 2000 at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and from 2000 through 2004 at BellSouth Telecommunications.


B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of New Orleans
M.B.A., University of New Orleans

Leadership Anne Villa



Anne G. Villa serves as LED's undersecretary, responsible for the functions of the office of management and finance, human resources, performance management and reporting, entertainment industry development as well as business incentives within LED.

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Prior to joining LED in March 2012, Villa was in the private sector for more than 20 years. She most recently served as vice president of Operations and Finance for MDI Entertainment LLC, a Scientific Games company. During her tenure at MDI, she managed daily operations, vendor relations, customer service, strategic planning and forecasting. Prior to MDI, she was in the logistics industry for 10 years as a finance manager for Exide Technologies as well as Ryder Systems Inc.


B.B.A., Accounting, Georgia State University 
C.P.A., State of Georgia, Certificate No. 21450