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Szabo tapped as Chicago planning agency's executive director


Former Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) head Joseph Szabo was named executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Szabo joined the agency in January as a senior fellow.

Szabo will oversee operations of the agency, which has state and federal mandates regarding the planning of land use, transportation and other ventures, according to an agency press release.

Szabo served as the FRA's administrator for five and a half years from 2009 to 2015, the second-longest term served in the position.

Prior to his service at the FRA, Szabo worked as a zoning commissioner in Riverdale, Ill., where he later went on to serve as park district commissioner, village trustee and mayor.

From 1996 to 2009, Szabo was state legislative director of the United Transportation Union, where he guided rail safety and regulatory policies, agency officials said.

"For me, this is a return to my roots in local government," Szabo said in a statement. "Municipalities are the most representative form of government, and CMAP depends on its strong connection to our region's towns, cities, and counties."