Clint O’Neal Named AEDC Executive Director

Gov. Sarah Sanders announced Thursday (Jan. 12) that she will appoint Clint O’Neal as executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). He will report to Trade Secretary Hugh McDonald.

O’Neal has served as Deputy Director of Global Operations at AEDC since 2018. In his role as Deputy Director, O’Neal led several departments within the agency, including Business Development, Existing Operations, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development, Marketing, Minorities and Business women-owned business, film and military issues.

As executive director, he will continue to oversee those departments, along with other agency functions such as community resources, finance, science and technology, and legislative affairs.

“I am ready to unleash my vision to make Arkansas the best place in the country to start and grow a business alongside Clint O’Neal, who will serve as executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission,” Sanders said. “His nearly two decades of experience in this field will be invaluable as we work alongside Secretary of State Hugh McDonald to foster a business and labor environment, attracting companies across the country – and the world – to bring thousands of good-paying jobs to Arkansas.”

“The team at AEDC is full of talented economic development professionals who believe in the mission and work every day to make Arkansas a premier business destination. I am honored and excited to lead the organization that gave me the opportunity to begin my career in economic development more than 15 years ago,” said O’Neal. “It is a privilege to be trusted to serve as executive director of AEDC at a time when Arkansas is gaining momentum and becoming known on the national and international stage. Arkansas has an outstanding business community and the tools businesses need to succeed. I look forward to working alongside Governor Sanders, Secretary McDonald, our state legislature, economic development partners across the state and the outstanding team at AEDC to get this message out there at home and abroad.”

Clint O’Neal.

“With his extensive experience in economic development and his passion for supporting Arkansas businesses and communities, Clint is a natural fit to lead AEDC,” McDonald said. “Clint has a proven track record of reliable leadership and has demonstrated that he knows what it takes to bring new capital investment to our state and create new jobs for Arkansans. I have every confidence that AEDC will thrive under Clint’s leadership, and so will Arkansas.”

O’Neal has nearly two decades of experience in the field of economic development. He started his economic development career as a project manager at AEDC. He then served as Vice President of Business Recruitment for the Missouri Partnership, Missouri’s premier business recruitment and marketing organization, before rejoining AEDC as Deputy Director.

Clint is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the Council for International Economic Development. He has a master’s degree in community and economic development from the University of Central Arkansas.

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