Sean McCarthy, Director
Sean has served as Acting Director since April 2016, and Director as of February 2017. Sean provides leadership and strategic guidance to the Department’s efforts to grow the state’s economy by encouraging businesses to invest and create jobs, by connecting resources to support entrepreneurs and investors, by positioning Illinois as a global business destination for Foreign Direct Investment, by encouraging top talent to live and work here, and by promoting Illinois as world-class tourism and film destination.
In addition, Sean oversees programs and services managed by the state Offices of Business Development; Community Assistance; Community Development; Employment & Training; Energy & Recycling; Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology; Film; Tourism; Trade & Investment; and Urban Assistance.
Most recently, Sean served as Policy Adviser for Economic Development in the Office of the Governor, where he oversaw the policy development for five state agencies, including the Department of Commerce. As the Governor’s liaison, he worked with agency directors and senior staff to transform state government and improve Illinois’ economic climate.
Prior to the Governor’s Office, Sean worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Randy Hultgren, where he was the primary in-district adviser on legislation and policy. Sean also spent six years at Nicor Gas as a Senior Community Relations Director. In this role, he worked with government officials and community leaders on behalf of the utility, while educating other community stakeholders about natural gas.
Sean is a graduate of Stonehill College, and he earned his master’s degree from Dominican University. He currently lives in Geneva, Illinois.