Oakland Names William Gilchrist as New Director of Planning

Late last week, the City of Oakland named William Gilchrist as its new Director of Planning and Building.


(William Gilchrist, Courtesy of the City of Oakland) 

Gilchrist currently serves as the Director of Place-Based Planning for the City of New Orleans, a position he’s held since 2010. In his current role, he is responsible for overseeing the Big Easy’s urban design and place-based development strategy. 

Prior to taking the New Orleans job, Gilchrist was a senior associate at AECOM in Atlanta, an engineering consulting firm. For 15 years prior, he was the Director of Planning, Engineering and Permits for the City of Birmingham, Alabama.

The new director’s academic background is extensive. He holds three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including master’s degrees in architecture and management, and a bachelor’s degree in design.

Efforts to contact Gilchrist for comment were unsuccessful.  He will begin his new position on Sept. 11.   

Read José Fermoso’s July 14 article, “Oakland On the Verge of Appointing Planning Director,” to learn more about what the community hopes Gilchrist will be able to achieve in his new position.