Pittsburgh Magazine: Pittsburgh-Area Planning Group Taps Rich Fitzgerald to Take Top Post

Rich Fitzgerald, outgoing Allegheny County executive, is heading to a new gig.

After serving 12 years as the county’s top official, he’ll become executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a federally certified metropolitan planning organization and local development district that maps a blueprint for growth in 10 counties in the region. It helps counties, cities, municipalities and townships to access more than $35 billion state and federal transportation and economic development funds allocated to the region through 2045.

Fitzgerald, who was named 2202 Pittsburgher of the Year by Pittsburgh Magazine because of his public service, is term-limited in the county executive position. He’s slated to begin his new job on Jan. 2.

In his new position, the Squirrel Hill father of eight will lead a team of 50 staff members that focus on seven areas, including economic and workforce development, transportation planning and strategic initiatives and policy.

“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,” said Leslie Osche, the commission’s board chair and Butler County Commissioner, in a press release.  “We interviewed a diverse group of candidates from the region and beyond. Rich Fitzgerald certainly exceeded the board’s robust qualifications and competencies.”

The commission’s current executive director, Vincent Valdes, will retire at the end of this year. Fitzgerald’s county executive post will be filled by progressive Democrat Sara Innamorato, who was elected in November as the first woman to assume the county’s top position.

View the full article at pittsburghmagazine.com.