AR Briefly

Sanders names directors of economic development, environmental quality

By: - January 12, 2023 5:31 pm

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday appointed two state agency veterans to be directors of the Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Caleb Osborne will serve as director and chief administrator of environment at ADEQ, and Clint O’Neal will lead AEDC as executive director, Sanders announced in press statement.

Caleb Osborne
Caleb Osborne

Osborne had been chief of staff for the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism and previously served as associate director in DEQ’s Office of Water Quality.

O’Neal has been deputy director of global business at AEDC since 2018. He began his economic development career as a project manager at AEDC. He then moved to Missouri to work with that state’s principal business recruitment and marketing organization before rejoining AEDC as deputy director.

“His nearly two decades of experience in this field will be invaluable as we work together with Secretary Hugh McDonald to foster a pro-business, pro-worker environment, attracting companies across the nation – and world – to bring thousands of high-paying jobs to Arkansas,” Sanders said.

In naming Osborne DEQ director, Sanders referred to the state’s scenic beauty and said the state “must continue to responsibly protect these precious resources.”

“The Division of Environmental Quality plays a crucial role in maintaining the beautiful natural environment and precious resources that make Arkansas the Natural State,” Osborne said in the statement.

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with Secretary of Energy and Environment Shane Khoury on “protecting and enhancing our environment in a manner that promotes a vibrant economy and provides an exceptional quality of life for all Arkansans.”

Khoury said he’s confident that, “with his tremendous experience and breadth of knowledge, I am confident that [Osborne] will … play an integral role in protecting our environment for the wellbeing of all Arkansans while promoting economic and resource development.”

Clint O'Neal
Clint O’Neal

O’Neal said he’s “honored and excited to lead the organization that gave me the opportunity to start my career in economic development over 15 years ago.”

McDonald said that, “with his wealth of experience in economic development and his passion for supporting businesses and communities in Arkansas, Clint is a natural fit to lead AEDC.”

Osborne, an Arkansas native, has a degree in political science from the University of Arkansas, a law degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a master’s degree in public administration from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He and his wife Stephanie live in Little Rock and have three sons.

O’Neal is a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council and holds a master’s degree in community and economic development from the University of Central Arkansas. He lives in Conway with his wife Heather and their four children.

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