Paul DesJardin is LAI International Public Official Of The Year

Paul DesJardin has been at the forefront of regional land use, planning, and transportation in the Washington, DC region for the last three decades. through his exemplary work as Director of Community Planning Services at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).  

On behalf of the LAI Awards Committee, Dr. James Fawcett, LAI Past President, Fellow and Awards Committee Chair, congratulates Paul DesJardin of the George Washington Chapter on this important international recognition. 

Paul DesJardin was nominated by members of the George Washington Chapter: John Schlichting, also LAI Assistant Treasurer, and by Patty Nicosin.  

Paul DesJardin is responsible for directing the Agency’s technical and policy work in regional planning; land use/transportation and TOD-related studies; regional economic analysis and demographic forecasting; affordable housing; and foster care/child welfare. 

Paul and his team are the policy and technical staff to several key COG regional committees including the COG Board of Directors, the Region Forward Coalition, Planning Directors Technical Advisory Committee, and Housing Directors Advisory Committee.  

His work has involved playing a critical role in creating the Regional Activity Centers concept and map to coordinate land use and transportation planning in the area’s targeted for most of the region’s growth.

He hosting five mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtables with other COGs; leading COG's Regional Multi-Sector Analysis of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) impacts; establishing COG’s multi-sector “Region Forward” vision plan; and leading the work to develop the 2019 COG Regional Housing Targets.  

With financial support from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, Paul recently helped to establish COG’s Housing Affordability Planning Program (HAPP) that will award small, flexible grants to area local governments and non-profit developers engaged in the planning, approval, or development of housing near transit stations.


Nominations for Richard T. Ely Distinguished Educator, International Journalist/Author and 2022 International Member of the Year are now open until 01 July.  Chapters making nominations for 2022 should submit them to Sheila Hamilton by that date.  More information is available at  




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