Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter yesterday appointed Andrew Altman as commerce director and deputy mayor for planning and economic development. Both Altman and the city’s new managing director, Camille Cates Barnett, were also sworn in yesterday.
“As a native Philadelphian who has led large-scale development projects including the successful economic redevelopment of Washington, D.C., Andrew will bring unparalleled experience and perspective to the Commerce Department,” Nutter said in a statement. “I am incredibly pleased that he answered my call to service and returned home to aid in the economic growth of Philadelphia.”
Altman served as head of the District of Columbia’s city planning agency under Mayor Anthony Williams from 1999 to 2004. During his tenure, Altman led the planning for a $1 billion redevelopment of a former convention center site, created plans for every neighborhood in the city, and managed the review and approval of more than 300 major development projects. Both the Building Industry Council and the American Planning Association recognized Altman for his work in managing the complex development process in Washington.
While in Washington, Altman also served as founding president and chief executive of the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., a quasi-government agency formed to revive the city’s Anacostia River waterfront.
Altman comes to Philadelphia from Altman Development LLC, a New York City company specializing in large-scale, urban land development, which he created in 2005.
“I am truly honored to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to answer Mayor Nutter’s call to service and put my experience in both the private and public sectors, and in cities across the United States, to work in my hometown where my passion for building cities all began,” Altman said.
Altman will be responsible for developing comprehensive economic development strategy for Philadelphia, marshaling all resources necessary to execute this strategy, as well as fostering a successful economic environment in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, downtown, and waterfront.
Altman, along with managing director Barnett, were sworn in to their positions yesterday afternoon. Barnett had delayed her swearing in and start date because of the recent death of her husband in a car accident.
Barnett yesterday began her job as managing director of the city, which entails overseeing 13 operating departments, and ensuring that the city services and programs are delivered effectively and efficiently.
Barnett has 24 years of experience in city management for various cities, including a little over a year as chief management officer of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority in 1998. Most recently, she was a top official at Public Financial Management in its Washington office.
Altman will begin his job in late February, according to Nutter’s office.