SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Greater Seattle Partners (GSP) is excited to announce that Brian P. McGowan has been selected as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer. McGowan will join GSP from his role as the President & CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., a $5 billion economic development and transportation initiative in Atlanta, Georgia.
Greater Seattle Partners is the first public-private partnership created to advance economic growth and competitiveness for the Puget Sound region. It will focus on attracting new investment, promoting international trade and growing existing industry clusters by:
- aggressively marketing the Puget Sound region;
- recruiting targeted business and trade focused on region’s assets;
- using sophisticated analytics and data to tell region’s competitive story; and
- engaging leadership and funding from both the public and the private sector.
The start-up organization is supported by companies such as Boeing, Amazon, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Starbucks and Alaska Airlines, and county executives, mayors and port commissioners from Snohomish, King and Pierce counties.
GSP retained Jorgenson Consulting to conduct a nationwide search for a CEO with proven leadership skills and broad experience in economic development and global trade. The search committee was co-chaired by Phyllis Campbell, Chairman of Pacific Northwest JP Morgan Chase Bank, Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards.
Alaska Air’s Tilden said, “GSP brought together the private and public sectors from the entire region to be part of the selection process. We all look forward to having Brian lead us based on his successful record of leading diverse and complex economic development and trade organizations from California to DC and Atlanta.”
“Brian’s selection as CEO of Greater Seattle Partners is terrific news for the Puget Sound region. I had the pleasure of working with him at the U.S. Department of Commerce and witnessing his innovative programs, his success in streamlining the Economic Development Administration, and his work helping Gulf State communities and businesses recover from the BP oil spill,” said Gary Locke, former US Secretary of Commerce and Ambassador to China.
Marek Gootman, who leads the Global Cities Initiative at the Brookings Institution, commented on the choice: “Establishing Greater Seattle Partners is critical to the future vitality of the Puget Sound region. Brian has the special skills in economic governance required to fulfill its potential. From working with Brian for nearly a decade, I know he brings experiences at local, state and national levels blending the policy, practice and management expertise that will be essential to navigate GSP for success.”
“I am thrilled to come to the Puget Sound region and build on its stellar foundation of highly innovative businesses, its commitment to international trade and its eagerness to compete globally to bring new investment to the region,” said McGowan. “The story and culture of this region serve as powerful tools to help ensure that this economy remains globally competitive.”
“Brian’s broad-ranging experience makes him uniquely qualified to lead Greater Seattle Partners’ ambitious efforts to make the Puget Sound region one of the most dynamic and competitive centers for commerce in the world,” said Campbell.
Prior to his current position, Brian was a principal at the global law firm Dentons and established an economic development practice focused on foreign direct investment and incentive negotiation. He also served as EVP/COO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber where he helped create over 16,000 jobs with a total economic impact of $10 billion. From 2011 to 2014, he served as President/CEO of Invest Atlanta where he led efforts to create over 20,000 jobs with an economic impact of almost $20 billion. McGowan was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia to serve on the Ft. McPherson Redevelopment Authority and serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Georgia Foreign Trade Zone.
In 2009, McGowan was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary/COO for the U.S. Economic Development Administration. He also worked for the White House leading an inter-agency Economic Solutions Team following the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill to assist affected communities along the Gulf Coast.
In January 2008, McGowan was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Commerce for the State of California. From 2006-2008, Brian was the Economic Development Agency Administrator for San Bernardino County overseeing economic development, workforce development, community development/housing and redevelopment.
Brian earned a Masters of Arts in Politics, Economics and Business from Claremont Graduate University and a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Riverside. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institute.
McGowan is expected to begin his tenure in August 2018.