Ariella Maron appointed as new Executive Director at DVRPC Board meeting
(Philadelphia, PA) - After sixteen years under the leadership of Barry Seymour, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has appointed Ariella Maron to serve as its new Executive Director. The Board, at its December 7th meeting, confirmed Maron, who will become the fifth Executive Director and first woman to lead DVRPC in its 57-year history.
Maron is a passionate thought leader who is well known for her work to accelerate progress towards local sustainability, environmental justice, energy, and climate goals. Over her twenty-plus year career in the private and public sectors, she has led the development and implementation of far-reaching solutions to a broad set of urban challenges across the disciplines of urban planning, local government policy, infrastructure, and economic development.
Maron began her planning career working in the Bronx Office of the New York City Department of City Planning, followed by the Energy Office of the NYC Economic Development Corporation. She was then tapped to help build the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability and lead the development of PlaNYC, the groundbreaking sustainability plan that integrated land use and housing, parks and open space, economic development, infrastructure, and climate action planning. Maron was then appointed to the role of Deputy Commissioner of Energy Management at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. In that role, she created and led the effort to reshape the energy performance of the City's 3,000+ existing buildings, implemented a number of clean energy projects, and helped establish the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation.
Maron has spent the last decade as a consultant supporting the work of cities, communities, and their partners across the country, first as Principal in the Cities practice of BuroHappold Engineering and, more recently, as the CEO of her own consultant firm, Lion Advisors, based in Philadelphia. As a consultant, she has helped regional authorities, local governments, communities, supporting organizations, and philanthropy to align climate work with community and institutional priorities, design more inclusive engagement processes and governance models, and develop strategic plans and initiatives to achieve shared goals. She is also a partner with the collaborative City Scale, which explores and expands the roles that local government can play on climate change, and she is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Maron will replace Barry Seymour, who has worked for DVRPC in various leadership roles for the past 32 years and served as Executive Director for the last 16 years. During his tenure, Seymour cultivated strong relationships; kept the staff, board, and stakeholders connected; and embraced technology and innovative approaches to regional planning. Among his many accomplishments, Seymour created the Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) program, which grants funding to municipalities for projects that implement the region’s Long-Range Plan. He improved how DVRPC operates, making the agency more responsive, resilient, and impactful. Additionally, he diversified the operating budget by fostering relationships and securing grant awards from local foundations and other sources. DVRPC’s close relationship with the William Penn Foundation resulted in over $24 million for a Regional Trails Program, as well as over $500,000 in grants for water resource-related work. Tenacious work with the U.S. Economic Development Administration resulted in DVRPC recently receiving Economic Development District designation.
Throughout his tenure, Seymour prioritized work in diversity, equity, and inclusion, establishing the first iteration of Indicators of Potential Disadvantage in 2001, a tool DVRPC continues to update and use today to advance equitable advancements. Seymour has been a conscientious professional and leader who generously shared his time and knowledge; actively engaged with staff, peers, and the community; and supported local planning and training for emerging planners.
“The DVRPC Board is very happy to introduce Ariella Maron as the metropolitan planning organization’s next executive director. She has a broad planning background, demonstrated management skills, and an outstanding academic background,” says Christine Reuther, DVRPC Board Chair and Delaware County Council Member. “We appreciate her focus throughout her career on collaboration to address major challenges including climate change, equity, and economic development as a component of transportation planning. We believe she will bring that same ability to engage the regional players in the DVRPC area while we work to take advantage of the substantial funding for infrastructure and transit projects that has been made available by Congress.”
Reuther continues, “Ariella has a tough act to follow. Barry Seymour has been a strong leader inside the organization. He has built and retained a great team with nationally recognized planning expertise. Just as important, he has exhibited considerable skill communicating with all of the members who make up the Board and the staff members who support them. The region is diverse in terms of both its population and its land uses and has a variety of needs. We look forward to working with Ariella as we continue to plan for and implement our regional priorities.”
“I strongly believe in the power of regional scale collaboration and solutions. DVRPC plays a critical role in our region, helping to address interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges,” says Maron. “I am excited to join DVRPC as it enters this next chapter and strives to create an equitable, sustainable, and resilient region. I want to thank the Board and staff for their confidence in me. I can’t wait to join the team and begin to meet and work with the amazing array of partners across the nine counties.”
DVRPC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for a diverse nine-county region in two states: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer in New Jersey.
DVRPC’s vision for the Greater Philadelphia Region is a prosperous, innovative, equitable, resilient, and sustainable region that increases mobility choices by investing in a safe and modern transportation system; that protects and preserves our natural resources while creating healthy communities; and that fosters greater opportunities for all.
DVRPC’s mission is to achieve this vision by convening the widest array of partners to inform and facilitate data-driven decision-making. We are engaged across the region, and strive to be leaders and innovators, exploring new ideas and creating best practices.
Learn more at www.dvrpc.org