Due to the Missouri Senate's refusal to bring Jason Hall, Gov. Jay Nixon's nominee for Director of Economic Development, to an up-or-down vote of the Gubernatorial Appointments Committee before the constitutional deadline, Hall yesterday evening submitted his resignation as director to the Governor. Hall will continue to work closely with Gov. Nixon to create jobs and expand Missouri's economy as a senior member of the Governor's administration.
"With his strong professional background and extensive experience in helping Missouri businesses create jobs, Jason Hall is exactly the type of strong leader Missourians need at our Department of Economic Development," Gov. Nixon said. "This inaction by the Senate will not dissuade me from continuing to work relentlessly with business and community leaders to create jobs and keep our economy moving forward."
Hall's nomination had extensive support throughout the state's business community, including from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis Civic Progress, and Kansas City Civic Council, the Missouri Biotechnology Association, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the Kansas City Area Development Council.
In 2009, Hall was selected by the board of the Missouri Technology Corporation to serve as executive director of the MTC. During his tenure at MTC, Hall oversaw a transformation and rejuvenation of the organization and its mission of supporting the growth of high-tech scientific and technology companies in the state. Hall was instrumental in the development of Missouri's competitive application for the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a program that is investing $27 million in high-tech, small-business growth and job creation in Missouri. The two programs developed under Missouri's SSBCI application, the IDEA and Grow Missouri loan programs, are recognized nationally as models other states should follow.
Gov. Nixon today named Chris Pieper, currently deputy counsel to the Governor, as acting director of the Department of Economic Development while the Governor conducts a search for a permanent director. Prior to joining the Governor's office, Pieper was general counsel for the Department of Economic Development from June 2010 to January 2012. He previously served as deputy general counsel for the Department of Natural Resources and as legislative liaison for the Department of Revenue. Pieper earned bachelor's degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law. Prior to joining state government, Pieper was an associate with Thompson Coburn LLP in the firm's environmental, toxic tort and railroad litigation practice areas.
During law school, he served as a law clerk for the Hon. Ronnie L. White, Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, and as lead articles editor for the Missouri Law Review. After law school, Pieper served as a law clerk to the Hon. John R. Gibson, Senior Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Pieper's appointment is effective immediately.