Mandi Mitchell


Mandi Mitchell

President and CEO
Lafayette Economic Development Authority

In November 2021, Mandi D. Mitchell was selected to serve as President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA). In her role at LEDA, Mandi leads the organization's efforts to attract and retain jobs in Lafayette Parish and to foster a business climate that is conducive to private investment and development and entrepreneurship. A Lafayette, Louisiana native, Mandi received her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and her M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans. She also is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and has earned the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council. Mandi currently serves as a board member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Southern Economic Development Council (an association of 17 southern U.S. states), the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association, and 2023 Chair of the Regional Economic Alliance of Louisiana (an association of Louisiana’s eight regional economic development organization and LEDA). She is also a member of the Louisiana Board of International Commerce. Since Mandi assumed the leadership role at LEDA, the organization has received three IEDC Gold Awards for its creative workforce development, entrepreneurship, and business retention efforts and a Silver Award for its re-entry workforce development efforts.

Before joining LEDA, Mandi served the State of Louisiana in both Republican and Democrat administrations, working in the administrations of Governors Bobby Jindal and John Bel Edwards. During her time at Louisiana Economic Development, Mandi helped land major projects in Louisiana including all three of Louisiana’s Amazon projects (Carencro, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport). She also navigated complex state and local policy and political issues on behalf of the department and its private sector clients. She also led and implemented a number of initiatives—including advocating for all state agencies to commit to and enhance their utilization of the Hudson Initiative certified companies and DBEs; enhancing the tracking of state agency DBE procurement goals; facilitating networking opportunities for the DBE community to ensure access to disaster contracts with GOHSEP and other agencies; participating with major energy industry companies in planning and launching the first Diversity in Energy Day; establishing the Louisiana Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (a diverse group of small business owners from across the state that serves as a policy advisory body for LED and Governor); and leading the establishment of the Veterans First Business Initiative – from conceptualizing the legislation to program launch. 

As Assistant Secretary at Louisiana Economic Development (LED), she oversaw the Small Business, State Economic Competitiveness, and Community Competitiveness teams and directly led LED’s legislative efforts. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Secretary in 2015, she served as LED’s Director of Governmental Affairs and Federal Programs and as Director of Governmental Affairs. Before joining LED, Mitchell was an independent business owner and consultant, providing governmental affairs, legislative lobbying, business development, and community relations consulting services. She served as the regional manager of external affairs at AT&T (formerly BellSouth Telecommunications) from 2004 to 2009 and worked in the field of electrical engineering from 1998 through 2004 at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and BellSouth Telecommunications.