The director of Burlington's Community and Economic Development Office is leaving the city for a post in President Joe Biden's administration.
Luke McGowan was tapped to serve as a senior adviser to the White House's Intergovernmental Affairs Team, where he'll "lead the stimulus and economic recovery efforts with state and local governments," according to a press release that Mayor Miro Weinberger issued Wednesday afternoon.
“There is no more important work in America today than helping the Biden-Harris administration succeed,” Weinberger said in a statement. “While I am sad to lose Luke as CEDO Director, I am grateful for his service to the City of Burlington and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as we rebuild from 2020 at all levels of government.”
McGowan has run the city department in charge of everything from restorative justice programs to large economic development projects. Weinberger credited McGowan for breaking ground on the Moran FRAME project, securing federal grants to abate lead paint and, most recently, launching the city's COVID-19 Resource and Recovery Center, which has connected residents with food assistance and myriad other services during the pandemic.
McGowan also has ties to the White House. He served as then-vice president Biden's speechwriter and worked on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. He also served in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.
“In light of this challenging year, the call to serve the Biden Administration feels even more urgent, and I look forward to doing everything I can to repair and rebuild at both the local and federal level, and deepen the connections between the two," McGowan said in a statement. "I’m so proud of the work that the CEDO team does every day, and know that CEDO will continue to do so much to support affordable housing, access to opportunity, public projects, community engagement, and restorative justice in Burlington.”
Katie Kinstedt, an assistant CEDO director, will serve as interim director until a new director is appointed. The search will begin after Town Meeting Day.