Anita Cozart Begins Role as Interim Director of DC Office of Planning

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Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tapped Anita Cozart — the District’s former deputy director of community planning and design — to head the Office of Planning as interim director beginning Monday. 

Cozart replaces Andrew Trueblood, who announced this past November that he would step down at the end of the year, after three years in the role. During his tenure, Trueblood worked to revise the city’s Comprehensive Plan, a 20-year framework meant to guide development and increase the available housing stock for the fast-growing District. 

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Trueblood guided the plan to completion this summer, introducing revisions meant to make new housing construction possible. Many residents’ and developers’ eyes may turn to Cozart to implement the plan. D.C. has experienced rapid population growth — gaining 70,000 new residents since 2010 — and housing construction hasn’t kept up, prompting the need for a  city-wide response, according to the city and Brookings Institution

As deputy director of the office from 2019 through 2021, Cozart oversaw the Office of Planning’s work on neighborhood plans and urban design analyses, according to the office’s website. She first joined the office in 2003 and initially worked as a neighborhood and citywide planner before becoming chief of staff. 

She left the D.C. government in 2010 to work at PolicyLink, where she established a national coalition for policies that promote fair infrastructure investment and worked to expand access to housing. She serves as an adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University’s graduate school for urban and regional planning, according to the school. She received her master’s degree in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003, according to Georgetown.

Cozart assumed her new role on Jan. 3, a month after Trueblood informed the office he would depart and Bowser announced a national search for his replacement. The search is still ongoing, and it’s unclear how long Cozart will remain in the position, according to the Office of Planning. 

Trueblood left to become a visiting faculty member at Georgetown University and advise the nonprofit America Achieves, which helps applicants for federal economic recovery funding.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.