Pat Wilson was appointed Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) by Governor Nathan Deal in November 2016. As Commissioner, he leads the state agency responsible for creating jobs and investment opportunities in Georgia through business recruitment and expansion, international trade and tourism, as well as the arts, film and music industries.
Mr. Wilson previously served as Chief Operating Officer of the Georgia Department of Economic Development since January 2011. As COO, he managed the daily operations of the agency, directed long-term strategy, handled budgetary and personnel issues for all department divisions. He managed the agency’s legislative priorities and interaction with the Georgia General Assembly, including yearly budget negotiations and passage of major policy initiatives into law. He was also the department’s liaison with the Georgia Congressional delegation and federal government partners. In this role, Mr. Wilson served as the GDEcD intergovernmental liaison, working with other state government departments and agencies to streamline and navigate regulations for major project locations, expansions and film productions. Pat was also involved in the department’s international strategy as well as overseeing trade and foreign direct investment for China. He also served as Executive Director of the Georgia Allies, a public-private marketing partnership between state government and 15 private corporations that pools resources to aggressively promote the state’s business development priorities
Mr. Wilson joined GDEcD as Deputy Commissioner for Global Commerce in 2010. Prior to that, he served on the staff of Governor Sonny Perdue as the director of government affairs. In that position, he led efforts to promote Governor Perdue’s legislative agenda at the State Capitol and managed federal affairs for the state of Georgia. He previously served as director of federal affairs for the state, opening the Washington, D.C. office in 2005. There he worked to promote the state’s agenda with the U.S. Congress and federal agencies as the Governor’s representative to the Georgia congressional delegation.
Prior to his work in state government, Mr. Wilson was director of governmental affairs for Greenberg Traurig, LLP, in Washington. He served under the late Sen. Paul Coverdell and under then-Rep. Nathan Deal, now Governor of Georgia.
He is a Franklin Springs, Georgia native, and holds an undergraduate degree in political science with a focus on international relations from the University of Georgia. He and his wife Melissa and their two children, Padgett, 10, and Carter, 7, reside in Sandy Springs.