Mark Phillips is stepping down as commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development and reentering the private sector as of Friday.
Gov. Mark Dayton announced the abrupt departure Thursday and appointed Katie Clark, current executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, to take over as DEED commissioner.
“I thank Mark Phillips for his dedicated service to DEED and the people of Minnesota. I know that he will continue to be successful in his future endeavors," Dayton said in a statement. “I have the utmost confidence in DEED’s new Commissioner, Katie Clark...Ms. Clark shares my commitment to hard work, organizational excellence, and exceptional public service. I know that she will be an outstanding commissioner.”
DEED is the state's lead economic development agency, tasked with promoting business recruitment and workforce development. Clark's background includes a stint at the Target Corporation, and a startup wind energy firm called National Wind. She also served as finance director for Dayton's gubernatorial campaign.
“I am honored to be asked to serve as Commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development," Clark said in her own statement. "Minnesota’s economy is diverse, our workforce is strong and public and private entities are effectively collaborating to spur economic growth throughout the state. Governor Dayton agrees that the time is right to make economic development our top priority and we look forward to working with multiple partners to increase Minnesota’s competitiveness in the global marketplace."