The Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC) Board of Directors has announced the appointment of John F. Shea as Executive Director. John Shea brings expertise in a wide array of policy areas, non-profit management and addressing concerns at a regional-scale.

An executive search committee, chaired by board Director Sara Churgin, conducted a national search following the departure of former Executive Director Thomas C. Ardito in November. “John has an outstanding record of non-profit leadership and has successfully built consensus among different perspectives to achieve common goals. Additionally, he is passionate about the region and the mission of the organization – we feel that he is coming to AIPC for all the right reasons” says Ms. Churgin in a prepared statement.

John most recently served as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, a non-profit economic and fiscal policy think tank in Concord. Prior to this, he served as Head of Policy & Economic Advisor to the Falkland Islands Government and established his own company to promote renewable energy investment in New England. The bulk of his career, however, was spent at the New England Governors’ Conference, Inc. (NEGC), a non-profit policy organization whose Board of Directors consisted of the six New England state governors.

“On behalf of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission Board of Directors I am pleased to welcome John Shea to our Island and AIPC.  John brings extraordinary strengths in leading complex projects and initiatives.  As Executive Director of the New England Governors’ Conference he coordinated and managed policy initiatives, research projects and environmental programs, including climate change, transportation and pollution reduction action plans, and achieved consensus on numerous issues among highly diverse stakeholders.  I look forward to working with John on Island resiliency, transportation, water quality and other issues of importance to Aquidneck Island.” – AIPC Board Chairman, Dick Adams

As Executive Director, Mr. Shea will work with AIPC’s Board of Directors, island municipalities, and other stakeholders to identify the areas of work and focus where AIPC can provide the greatest value to Aquidneck Island, while ensuring the continued growth and financial stability of the organization.

“I’m very excited to be joining the AIPC, and I look forward to working with all residents of the Island to address the opportunities and challenges facing our region” says Mr. Shea.

John Shea holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Harvard University.  He will formally assume his new role as executive director for AIPC on April 2nd.

“We are pleased that John has chosen to live and work on Aquidneck Island.  Please join me in welcoming Mr. Shea at AIPC’s third annual Newport County Legislative Forum on April 5th.” – Dick Adams

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).