Jason El Koubi named VEDP’s permanent president, CEO
El Koubi had been interim leader since January 1
Jason El Koubi will stay on as the permanent president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the state economic development authority announced Friday.
El Koubi was named interim president and CEO at the beginning of the year after Stephen Moret left the organization to become president and CEO of Indianapolis-based Strada Education Network. For the past three months, the VEDP board conducted a nationwide search, but ultimately, unanimously chose to name El Koubi as the successor to Moret, who had served as VEDP’s CEO for five years.
“I’m thrilled and humbled to be selected for this position,” El Koubi said in an interview. “I’m excited to work in collaboration with partners across the commonwealth to accelerate Virginia’s economic progress and achieve the big goals that we have articulated.”
State leaders applauded El Koubi’s promotion.
“Economic development is critical to Virginia’s economy, job growth, and competitiveness,” Youngkin said in a statement released Friday. “New developments and opportunities are key to improving the lives of all Virginians. I’ve enjoyed working with Jason and have been very impressed by him. I am pleased that he will serve as the president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and I look forward to his continued work to bring companies and jobs to Virginia.”
VEDP Board Chair Dan Pleasant said, “VEDP has become one of the best economic development organizations in the country over the past few years, and we are excited to welcome Jason El Koubi to the helm. Jason is a thoughtful, collaborative, and well-regarded leader who will keep VEDP on its trajectory of success, fulfilling its mission to promote economic expansion in the commonwealth.”
El Koubi, who joined VEDP in July 2017, previously served as its executive vice president. He spearheaded development and implementation of the first International Trade Strategic Plan for Virginia, led the creation of VEDP’s new Division of Real Estate Solutions, and helped bring Amazon.com Inc.’s $2.5 billion-plus East Coast headquarters, HQ2, which is being built in Arlington, to the commonwealth.
“Virginia is fortunate in that we have some challenges, but they are all addressable with concerted action and if we address those challenges, we will unlock the potential for economic growth and opportunity across Virginia,” El Koubi said.
Some of those challenges include mega site development and getting Virginians back into the labor market, he noted.
“If we can address some of these key challenges, we have an opportunity to accelerate our economic growth as we come out of the pandemic, and to solidify our position as America’s Top State for Business and to position Virginia as an economic growth leader with every region of Virginia participating in that,” he said.
El Koubi is optimistic about the “opportunity to address many, many obstacles that have stood in the way of economic growth,” he said. “I’m very encouraged by the level of understanding and interest among the General Assembly in addressing [site development] into quickly sustaining an investment in site development on a regular basis in the coming years.” He added that the state legislature has expressed support in advancing specific opportunities to “unlock additional economic growth,” such as VEDP’s Virginia Talent Accelerator Program and the full implementation of the commonwealth’s International Trade Strategic Plan, which he says collectively represent a huge step forward.
Before joining VEDP, El Koubi served as assistant secretary for economic development in Louisiana under Moret, who served as secretary of economic development under Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. El Koubi also was president and CEO of One Acadiana, a regional economic development organization in Lafayette, Louisiana.
El Koubi earned his bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from Louisiana State University and his master’s in public policy from the London School of Economics.