Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the appointment of Amy Gowan as the new Chief Executive Officer to the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC). Gowan will begin this role in April.
“Amy Gowan brings it all. She’s not only a top economic development leader, but also a highly respected land use planner, with broad policy and political experience,” said County Executive Pittman. “She understands that we have a very talented staff at AAEDC, and is prepared to work with them to make it easier to do business in our county with a focus on equity, sustainability, and smart growth.”
Gowan has extensive experience in land use, community planning, housing, and small business development in both Maryland and California. She served as the Assistant Deputy Director for Economic Development in the City of San Diego. During that time, she oversaw the implementation of several large economic development drivers including the Business Improvement Districts, Maintenance Assessment Districts, a $15 million community development Block Grant Program, business expansion and retention efforts, and small business development assistance while overseeing a $6.8 million division budget.
“Our Board of Directors is very excited to work with Amy. Based on her experience and knowledge, we think she will bring leadership and vision to an already strong organization. The Board stands ready to work with her to take AAEDC to new heights,” said AAEDC Board Chairman, Eric DeVito. “We also thank Jill Seamon for her steadying force as interim CEO.”
Gowan comes to the county after a seven-year tenure with Howard County Government where she recently led a department of over 50 people as the Director of the Office of Planning and Zoning. In that role she created and taught a Citizen Planning Academy, administered the state’s sustainable communities program, and oversaw the implementation of the county’s General Development plan, an urban renewal project, employing an innovative community engagement approach.
“Since joining the Department of Planning and Zoning in 2015, and especially during her last four years as director, Amy has worked purposefully to ensure that Howard County moves forward with sustainable land development, thoughtful community planning, and necessary supporting infrastructure to provide a better quality of life for all residents,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.
“Her leadership has been invaluable throughout the HoCo by Design General Plan process. Many people didn’t know that Amy’s resume includes time in San Diego managing that city’s economic development and community revitalization function. We are sorry to see her leave us, but we are confident she will do an outstanding job in her new role in Anne Arundel County.”
With a Master of Public Administration, specializing in City Planning, Gowan provided policy advice to the Mayor on land use issues in San Diego, including community development, affordable housing, and the environment. As the Director of Council affairs, she was a valuable liaison between the City Council and the city workforce, balancing the efforts of elected officials with the needs of the workforce and businesses.
“I am thrilled to assume this leadership role with the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation and work with the County Executive’s team to strengthen Anne Arundel County businesses, and advance efforts that spur investment within the community,” Gowan said.
In December 2022, County Executive Pittman announced the search committee for the new AAEDC Director would include representatives from the local business community, County Council, and AAEDC staff and board of directors. After a series of interviews with strong candidates, Gowan’s breadth and depth of experience and knowledge in all aspects of economic development stood out.