Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson today announced that Chris Zimmerman will join the staff of Smart Growth America full time as Vice President for Economic Development. To assume the post, Zimmerman will leave his current position as Arlington County Board Member at the end of January 2014.
“It has been a great privilege and opportunity to serve on the Arlington County Board for the past 18 years,” said Zimmerman. “Arlington has flourished during that time and smart development strategies played an instrumental role in that growth. I look forward to bringing the lessons I’ve learned in Arlington to communities across the country.”
“Arlington, VA is one of the best examples of smart growth development in the country,” said Anderson. “Chris has seen first hand the kind of development that generates economic growth and that experience gives him a valuable perspective on the development process. We’ve very excited to have him join our work.”
Zimmerman has been a resident of Arlington County since 1979 and was first elected to the Arlington County Board in 1996. A former civic association president and planning commissioner, Mr. Zimmerman has been an advocate of the County’s legacy of transit-oriented development and managed growth. During his tenure on the Board, he emphasized traffic calming and neighborhood conservation, transportation infrastructure, affordable housing, schools and programs for youth, economic development, public safety, protecting open space, and enhancing recreational facilities. He worked to improve transit service and to make Arlington more pedestrian-friendly, and devoted much of his effort to ensuring the availability of affordable housing in the County. Regionally, Mr. Zimmerman has worked to promote the concept of “smart growth” as the Washington area seeks to cope with traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
Prior to his service on the Arlington County Board, Mr. Zimmerman was Chief Economist and Committee Director for Federal Budget and Taxation at the National Conference of State Legislatures. He holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Economics from The American University.
As Vice President for Economic Development, Zimmerman will focus on the relationships between smart growth strategies and the economic and fiscal health of communities. He will lead Smart Growth America’s Policy Development and Implementation team, and will also serve as Director of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. He will transition to full time status at Smart Growth America during the month of January.