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Kansas Commerce Hires New Deputy Secretary

Jan 08, 2024

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TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced today Joshua Jefferson has been named the agency’s new Deputy Secretary for Business Development.

Jefferson brings 15 years of experience in economic development, commercial real estate and airport management, most recently serving as Economic Development Program Manager for the city of Tempe, Arizona.

“The unprecedented wave of economic activity Kansas is enjoying is a direct result of Governor Laura Kelly’s directive to grow our state’s economy to new heights,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Joshua has a proven relentless commitment to growth, investment attraction and sustainable development, as well as a deep understanding of how these sectors interconnect. I am looking forward to seeing his talents brought to Kansas.”

Jefferson helped drive growth and prosperity to the entire Greater Phoenix Metro region, attracting more than $400 million in private capital investment that resulted in the creation of a combined 17,000 direct and indirect new jobs.

“Kansas is in the midst of a period of historic economic growth,” Jefferson said. “I am honored to join the Department of Commerce and excited to contribute my economic development skills and passion to further strengthen the state’s reputation for innovation, collaboration and business success.”

In a previous role at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, Jefferson’s team oversaw the transformation of that entity into an economic development powerhouse, growing the economic impact to more than $1.8 billion annually and attracting major industry names such as Gulfstream Aerospace, Virgin Galactic and Boeing. Another noteworthy success was the expansion of DSV Sea & Air’s air charter network to the airport to better service the fast-growing semiconductor industry in the state and announcing an adjacent 2 million sq. ft. cargo and logistics center.

Jefferson earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Real Estate Planning at Arizona State University.

“Together with the talented team at the Department of Commerce,” Jefferson added, “I look forward to shaping a future where Kansas thrives as #TheStateOfUnexpected opportunities.” Jefferson’s first day at the Department of Commerce is today, January 8. He will fill a vacancy created in June 2023 when former Deputy Secretary Paul Hughes resigned to become a private consultant.