EPA has named John W. Frece to direct the Development, Community, and Environment Division (DCED), home of the Agency’s multi-disciplinary Smart Growth program, effective Monday, March 16. Frece will supervise the research, policy analysis, and technical assistance that this program provides to states and communities across the country.
Frece brings to the position a wealth of experience and expertise in smart growth and a passion for helping communities. He is knowledgeable about the pressures, frictions, and nuances of legislative processes, local challenges, and the politics of growth issues, which he chronicled and analyzed in his Sprawl and Politics: The Inside Story of Smart Growth in Maryland (SUNY Press, 2008). Frece also knows communities need greater educational, technical, and financial assistance to plan long-term land use, development, and sustainability and will help provide these in his new position.
John comes to EPA from the University of Maryland at College Park, where he was the Associate Director of the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education. Before moving to the university in 2003, he served for seven years on the staff of former Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening, six of them as the principal spokesman for Maryland’s Smart Growth Initiative. Prior to his state service, John enjoyed a long career in journalism, working first for the weekly Reston Times newspaper in Reston, Va., then for the wire service United Press International in both Richmond, Va., and Annapolis, Md., and for 11 years as the Maryland State House bureau chief for The Baltimore Sun.
Special thanks to DCED staff members who stepped in to run the office as acting director for the past several months. First Tim Torma, and then Lynn Richards, did an outstanding job keeping the program not just on track, but moving full steam ahead. Their efforts are truly appreciated.