Tribune-Review: Outgoing Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald gets new job

Outgoing Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has found a new job that will keep him in the Pittsburgh region and have a similar role in guiding investment and economic policy.

Fitzgerald will be named the new executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, the federally designated metropolitan planning organization in charge of guiding government investment for the 10-county region surrounding Pittsburgh. The SPC is in charge of planning and prioritizing the use of state and federal transportation funding and establishing economic development priorities for the region.

“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,” said Fitzgerald in a statement. “Together, we will continue to concentrate on infrastructure, communication, economic development, workforce and quality of life issues for our region.”

Fitzgerald has served as Allegheny County executive for 12 years. During that time, he has touted his success in growing the county’s rainy day fund, keeping taxes stable and boosting large infrastructure projects such as the $1.5 billion upgrade to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

He will lead a team of 50 staff members, who will focus on economic development, transportation and workforce development.

Fitzgerald is taking over for Vincent Valdes, who has headed the SPC since 2020.

Leslie Osche, SPC’s board chair and Butler County commissioner, said the board sought to attract a candidate who understood the region’s needs and had a track record of growth and leadership. She said Fitzgerald fit that role perfectly.

“We interviewed a diverse group of candidates from the region and beyond,” Osche said. “Rich Fitzgerald certainly exceeded the board’s robust qualifications and competencies.”

A Bloomfield native who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, Fitzgerald now lives in Squirrel Hill. He served on Allegheny County Council for 11 years before being elected executive.

View the full article at