Gov. Pete Ricketts has fired state Economic Development Director Brenda Hicks-Sorensen.
“Over the past two years, I have traveled the state more than anyone else and led two international trade missions. During these travels, it became clear to me that Nebraska needs to do more to market our state both nationally and globally. Nebraska’s future ability to grow jobs is contingent on leadership that is able to accomplish these goals,” Ricketts said in a written statement released by the governor’s office.
“At this time, I want to thank Brenda for her service to the State of Nebraska. My administration and the Department of Economic Development will continue to prioritize growing Nebraska and aggressively building an agency centered on promoting Nebraska’s business friendly climate and encouraging investment in our state.”
Ricketts stated an interim director will be named shortly. The search for Hicks-Sorensen’s replacement will begin immediately.
Hicks-Sorensen began work as the director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development in mid-January after a national search. She served as vice president with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation before moving to Nebraska.
No mention was made in the governor’s news release about the loss of the ConAgra Foods headquarters, but the firing came on the same day that ConAgra announced it would move its headquarters from Omaha to Chicago.
The governor’s office says the same private search firm involved with the search for Hicks-Sorensen will be used in the search for the next director.