KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A new Executive Director of Knoxville-Knox County Planning has been appointed after the most recent director was chosen for another position within the city.

Jeff Welch will take over Knoxville-Knox County Planning following the departure of Amy Brooks, who was picked to be the City’s new Chief Housing Officer following restructuring in the Knoxville Mayor’s administration.

Welch was chosen for the role by Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. He has worked for Knoxville-Knox County Planning and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) for the past 37 years.

“Welch has been a leader in this field for nearly 4 decades,” Mayor Kincannon said. “Over the years, he has served as Deputy Director and Interim Director of Planning. He has also overseen several regional mobility plans and transit studies. I am confident he will continue to guide us toward smart growth in Knoxville.”

“I am excited that Jeff has taken this position,” Mayor Jacobs said. “With his years of service, many in leadership positions, Jeff has the experience and skills to oversee Planning’s day-to-day operations and help ensure the success of long-term projects like Advance Knox.”

According to the city, Welch has a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech, a Master of Science-Engineering at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and a Bachelor of Science in Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and a graduate of Leadership Knoxville and East Tennessee Regional Leadership.

“I am excited to accept this position and to continue working with Knoxville and Knox County in a new but familiar capacity,” Welch said. “I have dedicated my career to these communities, and look forward to coordinating the important work our agency does for each.”

Welch will start his new role on Sept. 6. Knoxville-Knox County Planning was created in 1956 by the city and the county to be responsible for county-wide planning and to direct zoning and land subdivision regulations.