Dayton picks Haigh to chair Met Council

Governor-elect Mark Dayton filled another cabinet post today with his selection of Susan Haigh as Metropolitan Council chair.

Haigh is CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and served 10 years as a Ramsey County Commissioner and 12 years as a chief deputy county attorney.

The Met Council is the regional planning agency for the seven counties that make up the Twin Cities metropolitan area. It also operates the regional systems for mass transit and wastewater treatment.

Haigh will succeed Peter Bell, who led the Met Council for eight years under Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Dayton, who’ll be sworn in as governor on Monday, has now filled four of about two-dozen cabinet posts.

Here’s the Dayton news release:

St. Paul, MN-Today Governor-elect Dayton announced the appointment of Susan Haigh, CEO of Habitat for Humanity, to lead the Met Council. Ms. Haigh brings extensive and varied experience in public and community service to the position, including ten years as a Ramsey County Commissioner, twelve years as a chief deputy county attorney and experience working at the Met Council as a staff attorney.

“Susan Haigh will be an outstanding Chair of the Metropolitan Council,” Dayton said. “She is a proven leader and consensus-builder. She will be closely involved with me in the selection of a Council, which will represent the diversity of our region and honor its tradition of enlightened non-partisan leadership.”

(Note: The appointment of the new Council will begin with the selection of a seven-person Advisory Committee, as required by law, shortly after January 3, 2011; and all applicants will go through the Open Appoinments process.)

“I am honored to be selected to Chair the Metropolitan Council,” said Haigh. “I’m eager to work with Governor-Elect Dayton, council members, the legislature, local governments, community organizations and the business community to ensure that our regional public infrastructure investments are smart, strategic and enhance the economic competitiveness of the Twin Cities region and create jobs. Governor-Elect Dayton is committed to an open and inclusive process in selecting members for the Metropolitan Council and I look forward to working with him throughout this process.”

Ms. Haigh will continue her current work as the President/CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and will work in partnership with local elected officials, community groups, and the business community. She and the Governor will also be engaging the community in a transparent process to seek input into the appointment of council candidates from the 16 council districts.

Haigh has led Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity as its CEO and President since February 2005 and serves on the Minnesota Housing Partnership Board, the Minnesota Housing Commissioner’s Resource Advisory Committee, Habitat for Humanity U.S. Council’s Finance Committee, Park Bank Board, and the Macalester College Board of Trustees.

Haigh’s past community service includes service on the boards of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, St. Paul YWCA, Regions Hospital, Landmark Center, St. Paul Riverfront Corporation, Metropolitan Counties Light Rail Transit Joint Powers Board, Metropolitan Counties Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board, Association of Minnesota Counties, and Minnesota County Attorney’s Association. She has received the Spurgeon Award from the Boy Scouts and the Distinguished Citizen Award from Macalester College for her community service. Susan has a BA in Political Science from Macalester College and a JD from William Mitchell College of Law. She was born and raised in Owatonna and is married to the Honorable Gregg E. Johnson. They reside in St. Paul and have four daughters.

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