Anna Roach.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has a new executive director.

The ARC’s board voted Wednesday to appoint Anna Roach, Fulton County’s chief operating officer since 2017, to head the 11-county planning agency.

Roach, 47, will become the ARC’s first female executive director when she takes the reins in February. She will succeed Doug Hooker, who will retire at the end of March after more than a decade in the post.

“Anna Roach is a proven leader with a strong track record of success and a deep passion for the Atlanta region,” ARC Board Chairman Kerry Armstrong said. “She’s poised to build on the innovative work taking place at ARC and continue to move the agency forward.”

Before coming to Fulton County, Roach – who holds a law degree from St. John’s University – served as assistant deputy general counsel for the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources. She also has served as an administrative law judge in New York City, and as an appellate counsel for the Legal Aid Society of New York.

“I am honored by the confidence shown in me by the ARC Board and am eager to lead the agency’s efforts to build a better, brighter future for all residents,” she said.

Roach, who lives in the city of South Fulton, said her priorities include promoting housing access and health equity and developing a highly skilled, regional workforce. She also aims to look for common ground on the best way to move forward on transit in the Atlanta region and promote open dialog on addressing climate change.

“This is a critical time for the Atlanta region,” Roach said. “We must seize the moment before us to make transformational advancements that will drive economic recovery and long-term prosperity for our region.”

The ARC includes Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

Dave Williams | Capitol Beat

Dave Williams is the Bureau Chief of Capitol Beat News Service.