The Arizona Commerce Authority Thursday selected Paul Shannon as its director of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

The office will serve as an analytics and strategy team under the Arizona Commerce Authority that will continually analyze how Arizona stacks up against other states, identify ways to drive down regulatory and tax burdens and provide real-time data so policy makers and government can move at the speed of business to bring new business to Arizona.

Shannon most recently served as the assistant director, budget and resource planning and State of Arizona Labor Market information director for the Arizona Department of Administration.

“Paul will undoubtedly do a fantastic job leading the Office of Economic Opportunity,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “I very much look forward to working with Paul to advance Governor Ducey’s vision for economic development in Arizona.”

Watson will serve as president of the Office of Economic Opportunity, overseeing its activities in addition to those of the ACA.

Shannon began his State service in 1985 working as an intern to the Arizona Senate Appropriations Committee. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, he held managerial positions at Northern Arizona University before again serving the Legislature as a senior fiscal analyst with the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

In 2003, Shannon joined the Arizona Department of Administration. Shannon received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Applied Sociology from Northern Arizona University.

“Continually strengthening Arizona’s economy is a top priority for my administration,” said Governor Ducey. “The Office of Economic Opportunity will play a key part in that by providing real-time data and strategies which support Arizona’s economic development plan. Paul’s knowledge, expertise and long history of service to the State of Arizona make him an excellent fit to lead the Office of Economic Opportunity as its director.”