Mark Drennen joined Cornerstone Government Affairs in 2008 as a recognized expert in the administration, finances and operations of state and local government. Mark brings over 30 years of policy and legislative experience in state and local government to Cornerstone. He leads the firm’s operations in the State of Louisiana, managing the Baton Rouge office and providing state government relations and business consulting services to a broad and diverse set of clients.
Mark’s experience in the State of Louisiana includes eight years as Commissioner of Administration under Governor Mike Foster. In that capacity, he was responsible for preparing and implementing the State’s operating and capital budgets, supervising the administration of the State’s contract, purchasing and IT operations as well as the health insurance program for state employees. His experience included annual briefings to Wall Street analysts that resulted in four bond rating upgrades for the State.
Most recently, Mark served as the President and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc, a regional economic development group. He led efforts to attract new jobs, lobbied successfully for business tax cuts and incentives as well as obtaining extra funding for colleges and workforce training.
Prior to joining the Foster Administration, Mark was the Presidentand CEO of the Baton Rouge-based private research group Public Affairs Research Council or “PAR,” which specialized in the analysis of government operations in Louisiana and proposed solutions to problems. Prior to PAR, he spent eight years as the Legislative Fiscal Officer where he advised Louisiana House and Senate members on financial issues, including the impact of proposed legislation and on the effectiveness of government programs. All of these positions have provided Mark with a firm understanding and knowledge of the Louisiana government specifically and state government generally, as well as long developed relations with both business and government leadership.
Mark is active in the community and serves as a member on various state and local boards, including the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, the Shaw Center for the Arts, and the Foundation for Historical Louisiana. Mark also serves as the Program Committee Chairman for the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge.
He earned a B.A. in Political Science from State University College at Buffalo and completed a year of graduate studies in American Government at the University of Florida. He currently resides north of Baton Rouge in Saint Francisville, Louisiana where he lives with his wife Marion, an artist. They have four children and three grandchildren.