ATLANTA -- Moments after Kennesaw State University named the outgoing attorney general as its president, Governor Nathan Deal announced his replacement on Wednesday.
Deal, in a live announcement, named Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Chris Carr as attorney general, filling a vacancy created by the departure of Sam Olens.
Carr will take office on Nov. 1, when Olens transitions into the role of president of Kennesaw State University.
“Carr’s experience as an attorney, job creator and public servant make him the ideal candidate to fill the role of Georgia’s attorney general,” Deal said. “He is a leader with common sense, brilliant intellect and a wide range of experiences at the global, federal and state levels."
Deal appointed Carr in 2013 to lead GDEcD, the state agency charged with helping to create jobs and generate investment in Georgia.
The governor's office said in a written statement that during Carr's tenure, GDEcD helped facilitate 1,055 projects across the state that represent $14.1 billion in investment and created more than 83,000 jobs.
In 2015, GDEcD was recognized as the top economic development agency in the country. Carr has also served on the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC), the body charged with reviewing and recommending judicial appointments, since January 2011. To date, the JNC has filled more than 100 judicial vacancies statewide.
"I am truly honored and humbled that Gov. Deal has placed his confidence in me," Carr said in a written statement. "As I take on this new responsibility, I believe there is no more solemn duty than to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution and laws of the state of Georgia, and the interests of the people of our great state."
The seriousness of this work requires focus on a smooth transition and a readiness to tackle our state's challenges and opportunities—and that's what Georgians should expect to see from me,” he added.
In addition to his work with the DDEcD, Carr was also previously the chief of staff of Senator Johnny Isakson.
"Chris has been my friend and trusted advisor for more than a decade," Sen. Isakson said. "And the state of Georgia and I have benefited greatly over the years from his wise counsel."
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed also wished Carr well in his latest role.
"Chris Carr will make a strong attorney general for our state and I am pleased to congratulated him on this appointment," Reed said. "Mr. Carr is a dedicated public servant who has worked tirelessly for the people of Georgia."
Though the announcement of a new attorney general is directly connected to Olens's move to the administration of Kennesaw State, Deal refused to comment on the university system's decision to name him the school's president.
"I'm going to pretend you didn't ask me that question because that's not what we're here to talk about, today" Deal said. "The Board of Regents has had their process and I do not interfere with nor unduly comment on what they have done."
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