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Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff yesterday announced she will be stepping down at November’s end to pursue a new professional opportunity.Per council bylaws, Vice Chair Harry Melander will assume her duties until the Minnesota governor-elect appoints a new chair.Tchourumoff was sworn in July 31, 2017, as the council’s 15th chairperson. She previously was Minnesota's state rail director.During her tenure as chair, Tchourumof has focused on building support for transit investments, advancing the build-out of the region’s transit system and collaborating with various partners to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness, council officials said in a press release.She helped gain approval of an update to the region’s 2040 Transportation Policy Plan; negotiate and secure agreements with several railroads and Hennepin County, a critical step prior to constructing the Southwest Light Rail line; and garner ridership records on the Green Line light-rail route, which opened in 2014, they said.Tchourumoff was the third person to serve as the council’s chair during Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration.