Press release 21-118

Statement by Administrator Guzman Applauding President Biden’s Appointee to Lead SBA’s South Central Region

WASHINGTON – Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, issued the following statement praising President Biden’s appointment of Louisiana State Representative Edward “Ted” James II as Regional Administrator for the SBA’s South Central region:

“With his extraordinary dedication to public service and commitment to advancing communities, Ted’s leadership couldn’t come at a more crucial time for small businesses and innovative startups in our South Central region. Ted is an experienced and knowledgeable leader who will help advance the SBA’s programs – including our disaster portfolio. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated his home state, he was among those on-the-ground helping Louisianans rebuild and recover,” said SBA Administrator Guzman. “Ted is joining a dynamic team of Regional Administrators as the SBA looks ahead to a year filled with new opportunities and new challenges. Together, we will continue to help our small businesses recover, pivot, and grow to power local economies and solve global problems such as climate change, as we build a better America for all of us.”

As Region VI Administrator, Ted James will oversee SBA programs, offices, and operations in the SBA’s South Central region, serving Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Currently, in his third term in the Louisiana House of Representatives, State Representative James’ passion for leadership is driven by a deeply held desire to impact the lives of others while transforming his community. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he was taught at an early age the value of service, the strength of community, the importance of a quality education, and the principles of social justice. Mr. James earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Southern University A & M College and obtained his Juris Doctorate with honors from the Southern University Law Center. In November of 2011, Mr. James was elected to serve as State Representative for Louisiana’s 101st House District and immediately emerged as a leader in the Legislature. He currently serves as Chairman of the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee and Chairman of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. Outside of the Louisiana State Legislature, Mr. James is an attorney and director of the Baton Rouge office of the Urban League of Louisiana. Most importantly, he is the proud father to his daughter.

The White House previously announced the appointments of Mike Vlacich as Regional Administrator for the New England region, Marlene Cintron as Regional Administrator for the Atlantic region, John F. Fleming as Regional Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic region, Allen Thomas as Regional Administrator for the Southeast region, Elmy Bermejo as Regional Administrator for the Pacific region, and Mike Fong as Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest region. With the newest announcement, the SBA’s regional leadership is now in place for seven of ten regions and will guide offices across 34 states, three U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C.




About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

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