WCA to Spearhead Westchester County's Smart Growth as New Economy Spurs Transformational Change
On the heels of our groundbreaking conference, “Westchester: County of Tomorrow,” the Westchester County Association is spearheading Smart Growth to bring to Westchester County high speed broadband, innovation districts, and housing that’s affordable for the region’s workforce. To assist us, the WCA has hired Joan M. McDonald, former Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, and a nationally recognized expert in economic competitiveness, sustainable development and transportation solutions, to be a strategic advisor for The Blueprint for Smart Growth.
According to William M. Mooney, Jr., President and CEO of the WCA, the county’s preeminent business leadership association, Ms. McDonald is just the person to provide the strategic implementation and advice to help obtain necessary data, partnerships, and funding that this ambitious initiative demands.
“We are in the midst of transformational change throughout the region, which is providing tremendous opportunity for Westchester County,” he said. “As Westchester continues to emerge as a national biotech and healthcare hub, we must take the necessary steps to modernize our infrastructure, and accommodate the needs of our growing workforce and entrepreneurial sector. We wanted an experienced, knowledgeable, and accomplished individual on our team. Joan is that person.”
Ms. McDonald served as NYSDOT Commissioner (2011-2015) in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s first term, and led her agency in emergency response. She initiated the “Forward Four,” a nationally recognized program focused on a system of projects linked to economic development with a priority given to sustainability. As Connecticut’s Commissioner of Economic and Community Development (2007-2011), she developed competitive strategies and negotiated multiple corporate transactions during the Great Recession, as well as developed Connecticut’s first-ever strategic economic development plan. While Chair of Connecticut Innovations, Ms. McDonald oversaw the investment of more than $20 million in start-up companies in Connecticut.
During the course of her 30-year career, she also was a member of the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee, the Tappan Zee Bridge Blue Ribbon Panel, and served as the permanent co-chair of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Coordinating Council. In 2015, President Obama appointed her to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), a presidential council that evaluates the resiliency and security of the nation’s various infrastructure assets. In that same year, she founded JMM Strategic Consulting, which specializes in strategic planning and project facilitation.
About the Westchester County Association
The Westchester County Association (www.westchester.org) is the preeminent business leadership organization serving Westchester County. The Association is committed to business advocacy, economic vitality and to providing a strong and clear voice for the interests of businesses on the regional, national and international levels. Its key objectives are promoting positive economic development in the region; fostering business development; and providing its members with access and interaction with key public and private sector individuals, agencies and organizations.