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Jim Hudson Named Chief of Staff at Commerce Department

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The Arkansas Department of Commerce has named Jim Hudson chief of staff.

Hudson succeeds Betty Anderson, who recently retired. Anderson had held the position since July 2019.

Hudson previously worked for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, where he was director of strategy and operations. He assumed that role after being promoted from executive vice president of operations and general counsel. 

As chief of staff, Hudson will work to align the activities of the nine divisions within the Department of Commerce in support of the priorities set by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston, the department said in a news release.

Preston said called Hudson the “ideal choice” for the job.

“He has a strong track record of operational excellence, risk management, and developing strategies that drive results,” Preston said in the release. “He’s been a constant and thoughtful advisor to AEDC and all of Commerce since he came on board in 2019 and is dedicated to carrying out the department’s mission and serving the people of Arkansas.”

Before joining state government, Hudson spent 25 years working for Arkansas-based for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He was pastor of adult ministries at Fellowship Bible Church; vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary at Technisource Inc.; and general counsel at Staffmark Inc.

A licensed attorney since 1996, Hudson has also worked in private practice and served in various human resources and legal positions, the release says. He has a bachelor’s from Hendrix College, a Juris Doctor from the Bowen School of Law in Little Rock, a master’s in leadership from John Brown University, and a Master of Divinity from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Hudson be involved in workforce and economic development initiatives at the Commerce Department.

“It has been a privilege to serve the people of Arkansas as a member of the Economic Development Commission and these new responsibilities will allow me to continue that service,” Hudson said. “The best part of my new role is the opportunity to work alongside the tremendous staff of the Department of Commerce as we seek to improve the quality of life for all Arkansans.”

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