Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced Mark Olinger as the City’s new director of Planning and Development Review today. He will begin City service on Monday, September 12, 2011. Olinger will replace Viktoria Badger, transportation policy manager for the Department of Economic & Community Development, who has served as interim director of the department since March of this year.
Mayor Jones stated, "Mark's experiences and background align well with our focus of fostering unique, healthy and inclusive neighborhoods through strategies that encourage mixed-income housing, mixed-use development, and also facilitate creative efforts to make Richmond's communities more pedestrian-friendly. I am pleased that he has joined our team, and believe he will be an invaluable asset for this Administration and the broader city."
Olinger’s urban planning experience includes urban design, affordable housing, neighborhood and commercial district repositioning and revitalization with an emphasis on project implementation. For the past twelve years, he served as the director of planning and community and economic development and two years as the principal planner for the city of Madison, Wisconsin. As director, he oversaw the activities of 175 employees in the divisions of economic development, building inspection, planning, community development and housing operations. Olinger also served as the Executive Director of the Community Development Authority, overseeing the public housing and Section 8 programs for the city, and the city’s other redevelopment functions. Earlier in his career, he served as a senior planner in Dayton, Ohio, where he was responsible for transforming a once largely abandoned neighborhood, now known as Wright-Dunbar Village, into a model for neighborhood revitalization and rebirth, and a 2004 winner of an American Planning Association HUD Secretary Award.
Olinger earned his Bachelor of Art in Metropolitan Studies from New York University and a Master of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of the American Planning Association, Technology for Urban Planning, and the Urban Land Institute.