Awesome Choice: Shelley Poticha to Take Sustainability Post at HUD

Wow. Only a week after I wrote a post celebrating how well the Obama administration seems to be getting its act together on smart growth and sustainability, they have done it again. My friend Shelley Poticha has accepted a senior position at HUD, where she will be a sustainability advisor and, likely soon, director of the agency’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. (I write “likely” because there is legislation in the works to create the office.)

Shelley and I co-founded LEED-ND together, were among the founders of Smart Growth America together, and even wrote a book together. And I am excited to see that this association has not hurt her career in the least! Shelley is wise, pragmatic, insightful, committed, and articulate, and the administration has really, really done well to get her.

From HUD’s press release:


“WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that Shelley Poticha has been appointed Senior Advisor for Sustainable Housing and Communities.

“‘Shelley will help lead HUD’s effort to change the way we think about our communities,’ said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. ‘Her wealth of experience will help move us forward in creating sustainable, greener and smarter communities.’

“HUD is working with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) on legislation that seeks to create the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at HUD. Poticha will direct the office if the bill becomes law.

“Poticha currently serves as the President and CEO of Reconnecting America, where she has become a national leader for the reform of land use and transportation planning and policy with the goal of creating more sustainable and equitable development. Her efforts have stimulated a national conversation about the role of transit in shaping communities and the importance of building diverse and inclusive neighborhoods . . .”

Go here for the full release. For Reconnecting America’s announcement and release, go here.

Kaid Benfield is director for sustainable communities and smart growth at The Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. He has his own blog on land development and community issues and enjoys contributing here, too, since there is so much common ground.


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