Newark, DE - The City of Newark announced Mary Ellen Gray has accepted the role of Director of Planning and Development, succeeding Maureen Feeney Roser, who announced her retirement in January of this year. Gray, who will begin on April 10, comes to Newark with over 25 years of public sector experience addressing planning and environmental regulatory issues, most recently serving as the assistant director of planning services for the Kent County Levy Court - a position she has held since 2006.
"Mary Ellen's career includes experience at the local, state and federal level, as well as a long list of accomplishments that underscore her ability to produce results and affect positive economic change," said city manager Carol Houck. "We are thrilled to welcome her to the leadership team and are confident her expertise will be a valuable addition to the City of Newark."
In her current role, Gray supervises the Planning and Community Development sections, which implement the County zoning and land development ordinances, the Comprehensive Plan and Community Development Block Grant program, as well as related federal and state housing programs. During her tenure, she authored and secured federal housing grants, developed the Kent County Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and co-authored the 2008 Comprehensive Plan Update, among other accomplishments.
"I am grateful to Carol and her team for the opportunity to lead the Planning and Development Department and I promise to give the citizens of Newark my best every day," said Gray. "I look forward to working with members of Council, the Planning Commission, local businesses and others to build on the City's past successes."
Prior to joining the Kent Count Levy Court, Gray was a senior associate with The Cadmus Group, Inc., serving as a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Her extensive career also includes roles with the City of Salisbury (MD)/Wicomico County, Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (Bloomington, IN), the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and the City of Bloomington, Indiana.
She earned a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Rochester and a Master's in planning, with a concentration in urban and environmental planning from the University of Virginia. She and her family reside in Camden, DE.