July 30, 2018

To Attract More International Investment, Cabinet Hires US Commerce Dept. Veteran



In recently hiring Erran Persley, an expert in international business development who most recently served as a foreign direct investment advisor/consultant at the US Department of Commerce, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development seeks to support and grow new investment and job creation by internationally based companies.

As executive director of international affairs and business development for the Cabinet, Persley is designing, developing and implementing the state’s strategy for attracting and retaining foreign direct investment (FDI). Additionally, he provides assistance, support and guidance to new and existing foreign owned firms and promotes Kentucky in international markets.

Prior to his appointment at the Cabinet, he worked with the Commerce Department and SelectUSA in analyzing and addressing challenges and barriers to FDI in the US. In this role, he coordinated the activities of the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG), which consists of 32 federal government departments and agencies involved in some aspect of FDI and trade.

Persley began his career as an intern at the Commerce Department’s office of International Major Projects during the George H. Bush Sr. administration in 1990. In 1994, Persley served under Secretary Ronald H. Brown as the international trade specialist in charge of the Japanese Official Development Assistance program at the Commerce Department, where he assisted American companies in bidding for projects financed by the Japanese government in developing countries.

In the private sector, Persley worked overseas as an outreach and communications manager for a trade and development project in sub-Saharan Africa for Chemonics International Inc. and later served as the company’s senior vice president for the Africa region, overseeing 26 government funded projects in 19 countries. Additionally, he served as the executive administrator to the corporation’s CFO and board of directors where he actively participated in developing the company’s employee stock option plan and assisted with corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Persley holds dual MBA degrees from Georgetown University and the ESADE School of Business in Barcelona, Spain. His received his bachelor’s in political science from Howard University.

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