Delaware Gov. Markell goes global

From Japan to Chile, Switzerland and soon India, Delaware Governor Jack Marekll is quickly becoming a world traveler as he tries to drum up business for the First State.

Next Wednesday, Markell leaves for Mumbai, India where he’ll speak to a group of more than 1,500 people attending the leadership forum hosted by the National Association of Software and Service Companies. 

(At first glance, a tech summit in India may be an odd place for the Governor of one of the smallest states in the country.  But Markell’s previous job experience is evidence of his credentials.  Markell was one of the earliest employees of NEXTEL and he’s even credited with coming up with the company’s name.)

He says the summit will be an opportunity to meet with India’s IT leaders.  “Over the last few years more and more Indian companies have actually invested in the United States and started to employ people here.”  Markell says he’ll talk about Delaware’s “fantastic” workforce while in India in hopes of luring employers to Delaware. 

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Markell will also meet with manufacturing and health science companies in Dehli, Bangalore and Mumbai. 

The India trip will be Markell’s second overseas trip of 2013.  In January, he attended the World Economic Forum in Switzerland where he met with UN Secretary-General Ban  Ki-moon.  “That was a very interesting meeting,” Markell said.  The leader of the UN asked to meet with Markell because he heads the National Governor’s Association.  “He’s interested in creating stronger relationships with governor’s across the country.”

While there was plenty of discussion of Markell’s rising national profile during his reelection campaign, all this international travel in the first weeks of Markell’s second term could help raise his international profile as well. 

The central theme of his State of the State Address last month was making the state ready for “the world we now live in,” a phrase he repeated a dozen times during the speech.  “There are 3 billion people in the world today looking for jobs, but only 1.2 billion jobs available.  This too is the world we now live in,” Markell said in his speech to a joint session of the General Assembly.

Despite the back-to-back nature of the Davos and Mumbai trips at the start of Markell’s second term, the international travel isn’t a new term trend.  Over the course of his first four years in office, Markell visited with business leaders in Chile, Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. 


Markell talked about his overseas travels during a wide ranging interview on WHYY’s First which airs this Friday at 5:30 p.m.

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