January 3, 2024
Governor-Elect Jeff Landry Announces Heads of GOHSEP, DNR, and LWC
Lafayette, La – Today, Governor-elect Jeff Landry announced Jacques Thibodeaux will serve as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Neal Fudge will serve as Deputy Director of GOHSEP, Tyler Gray will serve as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Susana Schowen will serve as the Secretary of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC).
“Today, I am proud to appoint such well-qualified, committed, and knowledgeable people to head GOHSEP, DNR, and LWC. I look forward to the great work they will do for folks across Louisiana,” said Governor-elect Jeff Landry.
“I am extremely excited and humbled to be Director of GOHSEP. I would like to thank Governor-elect Landry for the appointment. I feel like I’m going back home. I have 40 years in emergency management, all in Louisiana and affiliated with GOHSEP, and this appointment brings me back home,” said Jacques Thibodeaux.
“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of Louisiana as the Secretary of Natural Resources. It is an honor to bring my experience, energy, and passion to this crucial role. I am excited about the prospect of modernizing the agency to enhance its effectiveness, efficiency, and responsiveness to the evolving needs of our state and its valuable natural resources. We are currently experiencing an unprecedented time of political alignment from Baton Rouge to Washington, D.C. I eagerly anticipate serving under the leadership of Governor-elect Landry and contributing to the improvement of our state, aiming for unparalleled success during his administration,” said Tyler Gray.
“Louisiana’s workforce systems can be difficult to navigate for our people and our employers. Simplifying these systems, and integrating them with education and the delivery of social services will be my highest priority. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Susana Schowen
Director of GOHSEP: Jacques Thibodeaux
Jacques Thibodeaux is the son of two teachers who taught him the value of service. He has served citizens in three different careers with extensive service in each venue. He served from 1984-2015 in the U.S. Army- Louisiana National Guard, retiring as a Colonel with 31 years of service. COL Thibodeaux enlisted in the 256th Infantry Brigade as a private on his seventeenth birthday and his career culminated as the commander of the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (3400 soldiers). He is a combat veteran who served in Iraq with the 256th. Jacques Thibodeaux also served 28 years simultaneously in the U.S. Marshals from 1991-2019, retiring as a Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal. Of his 28 years, 17 years were in four supervisory federal agent law enforcement roles. Jacques is currently serving as the City of Thibodaux Director- Office of Emergency Preparedness/Special Projects. He came home in 2019 to the City of Thibodaux in continuance of his service in the community where he grew up and lived his entire life.
Deputy Director of GOHSEP: Neal Fudge
Neal Fudge will be appointed as the Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP). His is currently GOHSEP’s Assistant Deputy Director of Homeland Security and Interoperability and the Assistant Deputy Director for Emergency Management, responsible for cyber security, geographical information systems, Louisiana Wireless Information Network (LWIN), school safety, intelligence and information sharing, critical infrastructure and key resources, planning, training, exercises and operations. He also Chairs the State Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) and holds a position on the LERN board. Neal is from St. Francisville, and he is married to Sarah Fudge. They have two children, Caroline and Hunter.
Secretary of DNR: Tyler Gray
Tyler Gray currently serves as the corporate secretary for the Placid Refining Company, LLC. Previously, he served as president and general counsel to Louisiana Mid-Continent’s Oil and Gas Association, an attorney to the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation and for the City of New Orleans. He received his B.A. in Economics from James Madison University in Virginia, a J.D. from Loyola University in New Orleans, a M.B.A. with a specialization in Economics from Louisiana State University, and is licensed to practice law in Louisiana.
Secretary of LWC: Susana Schowen
Susana (Susie) Schowen joined the Louisiana Community and Technical College System as the Vice President of Education in 2022. Before LCTCS, she spent over ten years with LED FastStart, the workforce development division of Louisiana Economic Development. She focuses on building coalitions of industry partners, economic developers, and educators to align our programs with the needs of employers and the economy, increasing the prosperity of our people and our communities. The LCTCS is widely recognized for its highly innovative and employer-responsive approach, restructuring its systems to lift individuals out of poverty while driving economic growth, and Susie is instrumental to implementing this vision. In her current role, Susie deploys millions of dollars in state and federal funding through performance-based models that reward results, not promises. She also works across agencies and with regional partners to identify inefficiencies in the system, and better align the delivery of social services with workforce development efforts. Prior to joining LED, Susie held leadership roles with several private companies in the technical training and educational services sector. Susie has degrees in chemistry from Wellesley College and Columbia University.