VEDP board taps interim president
Jason El Koubi has been with VEDP since 2017
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership Board of Directors’ executive committee voted unanimously on Nov. 17 to name Jason El Koubi interim president and CEO of the partnership, effective Jan. 1.
VEDP’s executive vice president, El Koubi has been with the organization since July 2017.
“We have succeeded because we have a highly talented, dedicated team, and … a big part of what I’m going to be focused on is continuing to build that great team that’s worked so well together to drive all the progress we’ve helped produce over the last several years,” he said.
The executive committee also voted to commence a national search for the next president and CEO of VEDP. The committee will work with an executive search firm and will consider internal and external candidates.
El Koubi takes the helm as VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret prepares to leave in January for a new position leading Indianapolis-based Strada Education Network. Moret announced his departure on Nov. 10.
Moret recruited El Koubi to work for VEDP and has known him for about 25 years, since both worked in Louisiana. El Koubi served as assistant secretary for economic development in Louisiana when Moret was secretary under then-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Before joining VEDP, El Koubi was president and CEO of One Acadiana, a regional economic development organization in Lafayette, Louisiana.
VEDP Board of Directors Chairman Dan Pleasant said that naming El Koubi as interim president and CEO is “a logical choice and a good choice,” given that he was brought onboard by Moret.
Meanwhile, VEDP’s board hopes to have a search firm under contract by mid-December, and is discussing what they want in the next president and CEO, Pleasant said. They want someone who has the vision to continue carrying out VEDP’s current five-year strategic plan and “perhaps improve on it in time.”
One of the biggest priorities right now for VEDP, El Koubi said, is accelerating Virginia’s post-pandemic recovery. He, like Pleasant, mentioned keeping VEDP’s strategic plan on track. “Our whole team is really committed to continuing to move forward with the execution of that plan, so I’d say, big picture, I’m really focused on staying the course on the positive direction we’ve all developed together,” he said.
El Koubi also looks forward to the 2022 General Assembly session, seeking to expand site development programs and the scope of the Virginia Talent Accelerator program, as well as creating a more robust marketing program and implementing the commonwealth’s trade strategic plan.
He will also be throwing his hat in the ring to be Moret’s permanent successor.
“I love my work at VEDP,” El Koubi said. “I’m absolutely interested in doing this permanently and working collaboratively with everyone as we look forward to an exciting new chapter.”