In A Flash

Who’s traveling to Europe with Gov. Edwards?

By: - August 4, 2022 9:03 pm
Louisiana governor discusses solar and wind at U.N. climate conference

Gov. John Bel Edwards is traveling to Europe on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, for 10 days to examine new flood control infrastructure in the Netherlands. (Photo credit: Wes Muller/Louisiana Illuminator)

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ 10-day trip to Europe to examine new flood control infrastructure used in Amsterdam and France will include a delegation of state leaders and business executives with an interest in coastal protection.

Gov. Edwards going to Europe to tour new flood control solutions

The delegation will include:

  • Gov. John Bel Edwards
  • First Lady Donna Edwards
  • Donald Ray Dunbar, Jr., special assistant to the governor
  • Tina Vanichchagorn, deputy executive counsel in the governor’s office
  • Chip Kline, secretary of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority 
  • Greg Grandy, deputy executive director of Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
  • John Davies, Commercial Properties Realty Trust
  • Chris Meyer, CEO of Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF)
  • John Spain, vice president of Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  • Justin Ehrenwerth, president of The Water Institute of the Gulf 
  • Beaux Jones, chief of staff for The Water Institute of the Gulf
  • Fred Palmer, state government relations manager for Shell
  • Joni Tuck, corporate relations advisor for Shell
  • Brandy Christian, CEO of Port of New Orleans
  • Charles H. Ponstein, chairman of Port of New Orleans
  • Walt Leger III, CEO of New Orleans & Company
  • Dr. Lauren Alexander Augustine, executive director of Gulf Research Program
  • Don Pierson, secretary of Louisiana Economic Development 
  • Larry Collins, executive director of Louisiana Economic  Development Office of International Commerce
  • Ben Fontenot, assistant director of Louisiana Economic Development Office of International Commerce

Louisiana State Police troopers who are members of the governor’s security detail also accompany him on trips abroad, but Edwards’ office did not provide information about how many troopers are going to Europe.

“We are not able to give out any details regarding security for the governor for obvious reasons,” Edwards’ spokesperson Shauna Sanford said.

Not everyone in the delegation will be there at the same time. Some will only attend certain portions of the trip. The Governor’s Office is covering the costs for staff employees, while the Department of Economic Development is paying for its staff, and all private entities are paying for the travel of their staff, Sanford said.

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Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Much of his journalism has involved reporting on First Amendment issues and coverage of municipal and state government. He has received recognitions including McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association, among others. Muller is a New Orleans native, a Jesuit High School alumnus, a University of New Orleans alumnus and a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, with his two sons and his wife, who is also a journalist.

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