Mayor Landrieu Nominates Isaacson To Serve On City Planning Commission

Walter Isaacson

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced he has nominated international leader and New Orleans native Walter Isaacson to the City Planning Commission. The Planning Commission provides analysis and recommendations to the City Council on matters dealing with the present and future development of the City, in accordance with the goals and policies of the Master Plan.

         "Today, I am pleased to appoint internationally respected leader and New Orleans native, Walter Isaacson, to the New Orleans City Planning Commission,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “As the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, Mr. Isaacson has demonstrated vast experience helping to address pressing global challenges. Walter will be an invaluable resource on our City Planning Commission, especially as it leads the City's Master Plan update, which will shape New Orleans for decades to come. As Walter and his wife Cathy split their time between New Orleans and Washington, D.C., Walter has never forgotten his home and I thank him for his unwavering support for New Orleans. As we approach our city's tricentennial celebration in 2018, I am confident Walter will serve as a change agent and ambassador as we continue our march to building the New Orleans of our dreams.”

         Isaacson’s appointment will go before the City Council this week. His appointment will be effective January 1, 2017 and last until June 30, 2023.

         The New Orleans City Planning Commission is a nine member citizen board appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. This includes reviewing, approving, and/or recommending to the City Council requests for master plan amendments, map changes, text amendments to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO), appeals and subdivisions. At this time, the City is beginning the process to update its Master Plan by allowing residents to evaluate and make suggestions that will shape the City in the future.

         Isaacson said, "New Orleans is the world's most wonderful city. Its magic comes from the unique quality of each neighborhood. I'm deeply honored and excited about the prospect of helping to protect the city and plan for its future."

         Isaacson became president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003. The Institute is a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.

         Isaacson’s most recent book, “The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution” (2014) is a biographical tale of the people who invented the computer, Internet and the other great innovations of the digital age. He is the author of “Steve Jobs” (2011), “Einstein: His Life and Universe” (2007), “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” (2003), and “Kissinger: A Biography” (1992), and coauthor of “The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made” (1986).

         Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996.

         He is chair emeritus of Teach for America, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in underserved communities. From 2005-2007 he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held from 2009 to 2012. He is on the board of United Airlines, Tulane University, the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Society of American Historians, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

         Isaacson and his wife Cathy live in New Orleans and Washington, D.C.



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