Outgoing Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is taking a post-public service retirement off the table.
Fitzgerald, who has been in the county executive role for 12 years, or three straight terms — the limit for the position — will end his tenure at the start of January 2024 with the inauguration of Allegheny County Executive-elect Sara Innamorato, but according to an announcement made on Thursday, he has already landed a new role for when his term officially ends.
Starting on Jan. 2, 2024, Fitzgerald will serve as the new executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, the federally certified metropolitan planning organization and local development district that serves 10 counties in the region. The organization’s current executive director, Vincent Valdez, will be retiring at the end of the year.
“Thank you to the SPC and its board for this opportunity and thank you to Vince for his work to energize and elevate the organization during his tenure,” Fitzgerald said in a release. “While I’ve always had a regional focus, I look forward to putting my skills and relationships to work for all 10 of our counties. Together, we will continue to concentrate on infrastructure, communication, economic development, workforce and quality of life issues for our region.”
In his role, Fitzgerald will lead SPC’s staff of 50 across seven different focus areas: Economic and workforce development, transportation planning, strategic initiatives and policy, information and data, finance, human resources, and communications and public relations. SPC noted Fitzgerald’s accomplishments and work to grow and diversify the region’s economy, invest in transportation and infrastructure and improve public services during his time as county executive, as well as his 11 years spent on the county council.
“The Board had several objectives when we launched the search process: To attract a candidate that intrinsically understood this region’s unique needs and characteristics, had a track record of leadership and growth cultivation, and would build upon the current strength, talent and consistency of the SPC staff,” Leslie Osche, SPC’s board chair and Butler County Commissioner, said in a release. “We interviewed a diverse group of candidates from the region and beyond. Rich Fitzgerald certainly exceeded the Board’s robust qualifications and competencies.”
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