City Manager Announces Appointment of Neighborhood Services Director

City Manager Dorothy Ann David announced today that she has appointed Rob Kowalski to serve as the City of Champaign’s next Neighborhood Services Director starting October 9, 2023. Kowalski currently serves as Assistant Director of the City’s Planning and Development Department and has more than 25 years of experience as a city planner.

Serving the City of Champaign since 2005, Kowalski currently assists with the overall leadership of the Planning and Development Department. During his 18 years with the City, he has provided project management for countless City initiatives related to neighborhood planning, economic development, zoning code reform, and long-range planning. Some of his proudest accomplishments include work developing the Bristol Place Master Plan, helping to create and program the Hedge Pop! Park in Garden Hills, managing the rewrite of the In-Town Neighborhood zoning code regulations, and negotiating the economic development agreement that helped bring Costco Wholesale to Champaign.

“Rob has been an integral part of our Planning and Development Department for 18 years and I’m pleased to promote him into this new position,” said City Manager Dorothy Ann David. “Rob’s extensive experience overseeing projects with meaningful impacts for residents, his commitment to neighborhood engagement, and his extensive leadership skills made him the best choice to serve as our next Neighborhood Services Director. The Neighborhood Services Department is a critical link between the City and our residents, and I know that Rob will continue to strengthen neighborhood partnerships as he assumes this new role.”

Of his appointment, Kowalski said, “The strength of Champaign is truly in its neighborhoods and with the residents who call them home. I love Champaign and I am honored to be given this opportunity to continue to serve the community in this new role.”

Prior to working for the City of Champaign, Kowalski was the Planning Manager for the City of Urbana from 2000-2005. He was a planner for Louisville and Jefferson County, Kentucky prior to that and he started his career in cartography in Chicago. Concurrent with his position with the City of Champaign, Kowalski also serves as an Adjust Instructor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois.

Kowalski holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from Illinois State University and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and was inducted into the AICP College of Fellows (FAICP) in 2018.