The American Planning Association Board Selects James M. Drinan, J.D. as New Executive Director
The Board of Directors of The American Planning Association (APA), a nonprofit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities, has selected James M. Drinan, J.D. as the new Executive Director of APA and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), the association’s professional institute, effective July 1, 2014. Jim will succeed the longtime APA Executive Director, Paul Farmer, FAICP, who is retiring in June.
“On behalf of the APA Board, it is my pleasure to announce the selection of Jim Drinan,” stated William Anderson, FAICP, and APA President. “The Board sought input from leadership across APA as well as staff regarding the type of executive needed to take APA into the future. In Jim, the Board found an organizational leader with a strong collaborative spirit and proven success in association development and management. Additionally, he has extensive legal and governmental experience, much of which has been with professional and government health organizations. Jim has demonstrated success over his career in advocating for public policy, providing excellent membership services, supporting professional development, cultivating partnerships, and effectively building and managing non-profit foundations.
“With Jim, the Board is emphasizing management, organizational development, and services to our members, APA components, and the public, which is increasingly interested in planning. Paul Farmer, a leader in the planning profession, is leaving a solid foundation on which Jim will be charged to build an APA and AICP where the members are the leaders. We look to advance partnerships, and enable our members to lead and advocate for better communities, cities, and environments.”
“The AICP Commission joins the APA Board in welcoming Jim Drinan as the new Executive Director,” said Lee Brown, FAICP, AICP President. “We look forward to the opportunity to work with Jim and the entire APA and AICP staff in our continuing effort to elevate the value of our professional credential. His experience with building certification credentials in other professions will provide new insights.”
“I am honored at the opportunity to contribute to the continued advancement of the planning profession. The team of elected leaders and staff will help members build better urban, suburban, and rural communities, as we all strive to address the challenges and opportunities of urban and regional planning,” says Jim. “We have a great story to tell: planning tomorrow’s communities, conserving and sustaining resources, and helping our fellow citizens create better neighborhoods, cities, and regions. We will continue to advance APA as a global resource for education, advocacy, and solutions for a more resilient planet.”
Paul Farmer, FAICP, who will be succeeded by Jim, had a remarkable thirteen year career as APA’s Executive Director. Under Paul’s leadership APA experienced tremendous growth as a professional organization and as a leader in urban planning policy and research.
“We applaud Paul for his contributions to APA and to the planning profession. We wish him and his wife Connie wonderful times during this next phase of their lives,” said William Anderson, FAICP. “As APA begins a new era of management with Jim Drinan as APA Executive Director, the APA Board looks forward to working with Jim, staff, our entire membership, and our partners to make APA a stronger and more effective planning organization and continue to advance the planning profession.”
JAMES M. DRINAN, J.D. has a 25 year career in association management, most recently as the Executive Director of the American Association of Endodontists and its Foundation for 12 years. Prior to the AAE, Mr. Drinan was the Associate Executive Director of the American Association of Orthodontists, served as the Director of Health Care and Government Relations for the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and began his career as a federal attorney for the US Department of Health and Human Services in Chicago.
Mr. Drinan’s career has focused on association leadership, governance, and strategic planning. He has had executive responsibility for a family of organizations, including associations, foundations, international federations, for-profit subsidiaries, and political action committees. Jim has served as general counsel, lobbyist, and spokesperson for associations at the state and federal levels.
A native of Boston, he received a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College and a J.D. from the DePaul University School of Law. He has written and lectured on association management, government relations, and legal issues. Jim has served on, and chaired, boards and committees in numerous legal and association management organizations, as well as his college alumni association and condominium association. His interests include travel, golf, and helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.
The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic and social. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people’s lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill. For more information, visit www.planning.org.