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Urban Redevelopment Authority Board Appoints Susheela Nemani-Stanger as Executive Director

Press Release
January 19, 2023

First Woman to be Named Executive Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh on Permanent Basis

PITTSBURGH - The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) announced today that Susheela Nemani-Stanger has been appointed as its new Executive Director. Nemani-Stanger assumed the role of Acting Executive Director after the departure of the previous Executive Director, Greg Flisram, who resigned on December 31, 2022, to return to the private sector. As Flisram’s successor, Nemani-Stanger will assume responsibilities effective immediately.

Mayor Ed Gainey expressed enthusiasm about Nemani-Stanger's appointment, describing the move as historic.

"Director Nemani-Stanger is the first woman to hold this position in the history of the Urban Redevelopment Authority," said Mayor Ed Gainey. "I'm proud to say that I've watched her work tirelessly for over a decade in the economic development field to ensure our communities are being served. This is a moment in history that we will never forget - that we should never forget."  

An experienced business leader, Nemani-Stanger rejoined the URA on August 15, 2022, as the Deputy Executive Director, succeeding Diamonte Walker, who is now the CEO of Pittsburgh Scholar House. Though her most recent URA tenure began last year, Nemani-Stanger brings 13 years of URA experience to the Executive Directorship.

Nemani-Stanger first joined the URA in August 2007 as a Project Development Specialist within the URA’s former Economic Development Department. Eventually becoming Director of Economic Development, Nemani-Stanger was responsible for formulating public-private partnerships related to the City’s Tax Increment Financing and Parking Tax Diversion programs. She was instrumental in creating and financing the first Transit Revitalization Investment District in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania while also directing the overall planning, financing, and implementation of significant mixed-use, transportation, infrastructure, and public space projects within the City of Pittsburgh.

Nemani-Stanger’s original URA tenure ended in August 2020. In the two years that followed, she led an effort at WQED to produce a COVID-19 vaccine hesitation public health campaign in partnership with the Black Equity Coalition and POISE Foundation. In April 2021, Nemani-Stanger became Allegheny County Economic Development’s Deputy Director. While there, she managed the project-related divisions, including development, business expansion and attraction, affordable housing development and planning, in addition to providing oversight over the tax diversion and abatement program units.

On returning to the URA, Nemani-Stanger said she plans to focus on organizational success.

“The framework I’ve created as the new ED is based on stabilizing and strengthening the URA,” said Nemani-Stanger. “I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead an organization of human beings who are passionate about our communities and who turn that same passion into thriving projects.”

“Through our work at the URA, we have a unique opportunity to help support our residents and others who share our entrepreneurial spirit. The URA's community and economic development work can help to make the entrepreneurial journey less treacherous, provided we apply the same professional stamina, level of focus, and care entrepreneurs apply to their dreams every day,” Nemani-Stanger said.

“The Gainey Administration and the Board of Directors of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh have chosen an incredible candidate,” said Kyle Chintalapalli, URA Board Chair. “We are confident that Susheela's business acumen, inclusive leadership style, and care for our communities will facilitate the organization's mission with distinction as we work towards building a more equitable and just Pittsburgh. While we know other women have held the title of Interim and Acting Executive Director, this is the first time in the URA's history that a woman will hold this post on a permanent basis, and we could not be prouder.”

Susheela Nemani-Stanger is the first woman and first person of Indian descent to hold the Executive Director position in the URA’s 77-year history.

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