City Appoints New Director of Economic Opportunity Office

Mayor Nutter has appointed a former city official who spent the past 20 years in the private sector as director of the city Office of Economic Opportunity.

Angela Dowd-Burton, the government relations manager for chemical firm Rohm and Haas, will start the job on March 15. She is the third person to lead the office which Nutter established in late 2008 to replace the problem-plagued Minority Business Enterprise Council.

Dowd-Burton served as deputy director of finance and procurement commissioner for the city under former Mayor W. Wilson Goode. She will be in charge of implementing the city’s new economic opportunity plan, which sets a goal that 25 percent of all city contracts will go to minority and female-owned businesses by July 2011.

“It’s great to be back,” Dowd-Burton said. “I am very excited about this strategic plan. I think it’s aggressive, I also think it’s doable.”

A frequently cited problem in the city when it comes to business inclusion is the lack of minority participation in the city building trades. Dowd-Burton said she hoped to work with the unions.

“I have not analyzed what has occurred in the past as it relates to inclusion in those areas. My focus is on the future and developing the strategic alliances that I believe need to be made,” Dowd-Burton said. “Of course the unions and working with them is a significant part of the strategic plan and I look forward to building that relationship.”

Dowd-Burton’s salary will be $135,000.