Mayor Ed Murray announced he is nominating Sam Assefa – the senior urban designer for the City of Boulder, Colorado – as the next director of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD).
Prior to Boulder, Assefa served as Director of Land Use and Planning Policy for the City of Chicago, and as a deputy chief of staff to former Mayor Richard Daley.
“Sam Assefa brings leadership and a holistic approach to urban planning that integrates land use, transportation, design and sustainability,” Mayor Murray said. “Throughout his career, Sam has shown a passion for placemaking and a commitment to working with all communities to solve the challenges of growth. His experience will be invaluable to implementing our shared vision for building neighborhoods that are affordable, livable and equitable.”
OPCD was created to better integrate strategic planning across departments, while coordinating public investments in transportation, parks, housing and other areas.
“I have always admired the City of Seattle for its natural beauty, innovative spirit and strong commitment to social justice,” Assefa said. “I am thrilled at this opportunity to help implement Mayor Murray’s vision for building thriving and vibrant communities through an integrated and equitable approach to city planning and community development.”
Since 2010, Assefa has worked for Boulder’s Department of Community Planning and Sustainability, where he was responsible for urban and building design policies and directed the City’s Sustainable Streets and Centers Program.
Prior to Chicago, he served the City of San Francisco as director of Special Projects for the Department of Planning and Development. He was responsible for the implementation of various urban design policies and redevelopment plans, including the Hunters Point Shipyard, the Trans Bay Center, Rincon Hill, and the Better Neighborhoods Program.