Mesa Announces New Planning Director

August 31, 2022 at 5:11 pm

Following a nine-month national recruitment process, the City of Mesa has selected Mary Kopaskie-Brown as the new Planning Director. Ms. Kopaskie-Brown has 35 years of experience in the public and private sectors. She is currently the Acting Deputy Director and City Planner for Riverside California, overseeing long-range planning and applicant projects.

"We had several excellent candidates, but Mary stood out for her leadership skills and her ability to include many different departments to help achieve the vision and mission when it comes to planning," said City Manager Chris Brady. "She has a very impressive track record at accomplishing goals and projects that improve the overall quality of the community."

Before joining Riverside, Ms. Kopaskie-Brown was the Chief of the Advance Planning Division for San Diego County. She oversaw several important projects, including the County's Climate Action Plan, Community Plan updates and regulation/code updates.

"Mary provides expertise in strategic planning, organization and stakeholder coordination and brings a tremendous amount of experience in many different aspects of planning and development," said Nana Appiah, Mesa Development Services Director. "She will be an outstanding addition to the City of Mesa."

Ms. Kopaskie-Brown worked internationally for 12 years in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. She oversaw the update of the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, Public Art Master Plan and specific area plans. While abroad, she managed the Seychelles Country Comprehensive Plan, including a downtown redevelopment plan for the Capital City of Victoria.

Before moving abroad, Mary worked with a Buffalo, NY based planning and design firm on projects throughout the U.S. and Canada.

"I am excited to be joining the City of Mesa and looking forward to working with City Council, the City's staff and leadership, the development community, stakeholders and residents," said Ms. Kopaskie-Brown. "Mesa has an excellent reputation and track record in planning, development and innovation, and I am grateful to get the opportunity to be part of it."

Ms. Kopaskie-Brown received her Bachelor of Arts in Geography from State University of New York and Plattsburgh and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Buffalo. She earned an AICP, which assures the education, experience, breadth of knowledge, ethical practice and commitment to the planning profession as a high-qualified planning professional. She also received a similar certification from the Canadian Institute of Planners.

She will start working for the City of Mesa during the first week of November.