The City of Newport on Wednesday announced the hiring of Patricia Reynolds as Newport’s new Director of Planning and Economic Development.

A native Rhode Islander and architect by training, Ms. Reynolds comes to Newport following a distinguished 24-year career with the City of Warwick, where she most recently served as Principal Planner.

“I’m very pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Reynolds to the City” remarked City Manager Joseph Nicholson, Jr in a prepared statement. “She brings an impressive skill set to bear and I’m confident that we’ll benefit from both her professionalism and experience.”

Ms. Reynolds will lead the newly created Department of Planning & Economic Development, which will be tasked with overseeing an array of short and long-term projects, from the redevelopment of the North End to preparing for the potential effects of sea level rise, according to the City.

“Newport is an incredible community with a rich history, and I’m sincerely looking forward to contributing to its future,” Reynolds said.

In reflecting on her top priorities, she cited the need to balance the preservation of the City’s historic character while at the same time pursuing sustainable development strategies in order to position Newport as not only a place to visit, but also to live, work, and raise a family.

“Whether we’re contemplating large scale urban planning projects like the Pell Bridge ramp redesign, or putting in place policies to help preserve our historic structures for future generations, I believe we have a unique opportunity as a community to make Newport a model for smart and sustainable development,” Reynolds said, adding, “I’m excited to get to work.”

In addition to her time with the City of Warwick, Reynolds has also served on the board of Preserve RI, a leading statewide non-profit working to protect historic places, and was appointed in 2016 by Gina Raimondo to the state Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC). She holds a BA in Economics from Brandeis University (Waltham, Mass.) as well as both a BFA and MA in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Ms. Reynolds was selected from a pool of 15 applicants following a nationwide recruitment effort that began in May. Her first day was Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.

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