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Planning Board Hires New Director

The Montgomery County Planning Board has selected a new planning director, placing a professional who has held top planning jobs in the city of Alexandria, Virginia, and the Montgomery County Planning Department at the helm of the county’s 150-member planning department.

Gwen Wright will begin directing the department on July 1.

“We are thrilled to announce Gwen Wright as our new director,” said Planning Board Chair Françoise Carrier. “Ms. Wright’s combination of experiences in Montgomery County and Alexandria and her background in architecture will provide the vision and leadership we seek in a planning director.”

The Planning Board has been vetting planning director candidates for several months since the departure of its previous director, Rollin Stanley, in May 2012. The search process resulted in a number of qualified candidates who were considered before the Board made its final selection.

Wright was with the Montgomery County Planning Department from 1987 to 2008, most recently as Acting Director of the department and prior to that as Chief of Countywide Planning. Currently, she is Chief of the Development Division at the city of Alexandria’s department of planning and zoning. She has a degree in Architecture and Architectural History from Yale University. Wright has been a speaker at the national conferences of the American Planning Association and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a university instructor in planning and zoning and preservation, and a board member of the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions.

As planning director, Wright will oversee a department responsible for making recommendations to the board on master plans, development applications, forest conservation, historic preservation, and a host of other land-use issues.

The Planning Board is thanking Rose Krasnow for her “exceptional efforts” as Acting Planning Director since Stanley’s departure. “We are extremely grateful for her management expertise, her unfailing professionalism and her willingness to serve in this demanding position,” said the board in a statement.


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