NARC Selects Senior DOT Official to Succeed Fred Abousleman

The Board of Directors of NARC announced today that it has chosen Joanna Liberman Turner to serve as Executive Director. She will succeed Fred Abousleman, who served NARC for over 12 years. He has accepted a job as the Executive Director of the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments.

Ms. Turner currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), where she is the primary advisor to the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and other Senior Staff on state, tribal, and local issues. Previously, Ms. Turner was Legislative Director for the Economic Development and Commerce Committee at the National Governors Association (NGA), where she led NGA’s advocacy efforts on transportation. Prior to her service at NGA, she developed policy and legislative strategy on transportation and environmental issues for the National League of Cities.

“Joanna is a strong choice for our future as an association,” said NARC President Penelope A. Gross, Supervisor, Fairfax County, VA. “She will build on the excellent work of our staff and maintain our commitment to bringing the best service and advocacy to our members.”

The National Association of Regional Councils serves as the national voice for regionalism. It advocates for multi-regional cooperation for regions of all sizes and composition as the most effective way to address and improve community planning and development opportunities. NARC was created in 1968 by the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties to respond to the professional and legislative needs of America’s emerging, multi-purpose, multijurisdictional regional organizations.

“I am honored to accept this appointment as the new Executive Director of the National Association of Regional Councils,” said Turner. “NARC is a critical voice supporting regional governments in Washington, and provides excellent services to its members as they seek regional solutions to improve the quality of life for citizens in their communities. I look forward to working with the members and staff to build on the organization’s strong history of supporting the critical work of regional councils.”

Today, regional councils deliver an array of federal, state, and local programs that provide planning support and technical assistance to member local governments. Regional councils throughout the country include a variety of organizations such as Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Councils of Government, Rural Planning Organizations, Economic Development Districts, and Local Development Districts that perform important planning and development functions within their areas. For over 40 years, NARC has represented the interests of its members and advanced regional cooperation through effective interaction and advocacy with Congress, federal officials, and other related agencies and interest groups. NARC’s priorities are transportation, economic and community development, homeland security, and the environment.

Ms. Turner is a graduate of The George Washington University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Geography, and of the Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in the Nation. She currently lives in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC with her husband, Todd Turner.

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