LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday he has named North Little Rock native Col. Gary Holland as the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s director of military affairs.


Holland will start in the newly created position Jan. 1. His annual salary will be $79,092.


The money for Holland’s salary is coming from AEDC’s budget and is available because of positions that have become vacant and have not been refilled, according to Scott Hardin, spokesman for the agency.


Holland and his wife live in the Washington, D.C., area, where Holland most recently worked as a senior associate for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. They will relocate to Arkansas, according to a news release from the governor’s office.


Hutchinson created the director of military affairs position as part of his administration’s focus on supporting and growing the state’s military installations. In September 2015, he announced the creation of the Governor’s Military Affairs Committee, with the mission of bringing together public and private leaders around the state to advocate for Arkansas’ military installations and missions.


Hutchinson told the Arkansas News Bureau that Holland’s mission will be “to support our Military Affairs Committee, to develop a strong plan to support our military installations, to work with our communities and make sure that our military installations are not just strong and competitive for the future, but that hopefully there’ll be missions that will expand their presence in this state.”


Holland is a 25-year Air Force veteran and has served as senior military adviser to the undersecretary of defense for policy. He began his career at the Little Rock Air Force Base.


He has a doctorate in business administration/homeland security, a dual master’s degree in business administration and public administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, the latter from Arkansas Tech University.


The governor said in the release that Holland’s “personal experiences and expertise make him the ideal person to act as a liaison with our congressional delegation and national military leaders.”


The Governor’s Military Affairs Committee is putting the final touches on an economic impact study focused on the state’s military installations and expects to release a report in early 2017, according to the governor’s office.