Rob Dixon, president of the Missouri Community College Association, has been appointed as the new acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Gov. Eric Greitens’ office announced Friday in press release.
Since 2015, Dixon has worked as president of the community college association, an organization focused on advocacy for and collaboration between the state’s 12 community colleges. The governor’s office touted Dixon’s contributions to the state’s workforce development in the role.
Mike Downing, current acting director of the Department of Economic Development, has agreed to stay on as a special economic advisor, the department said in a release.
Dixon said in a release that he looks forward to creating “one of the top business climates in the nation.”
“Governor Greitens and I share the same desire to transform the way Missouri does economic development,” he said. “The people of Missouri need more jobs and higher pay.”
Dixon got his start in economic development with the Hollister Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Hollister, according to his LinkedIn profile. He then moved to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, where he worked as executive vice president and did an interim stint as president and CEO.
Previously, Dixon served in the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan and Pakistan from 1998 to 2003. He went on to get a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a master’s in public administration from Missouri State, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry was among the organizations to express support of Dixon’s appointment.
“Dixon is a proven professional in the economic development field and this announcement is great news for Missouri employers,” Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO, said in a release.