Former Rialto City Councilmember and longtime public leader returns home to spearhead local regional agency.
Western Riverside Council of Government’s (WRCOG) Executive Committee, which serves as WRCOG’s decision-making policy board, has appointed Dr. Kurt Wilson as its next Executive Director, replacing long-time Executive Director, Rick Bishop, who retired in early 2021.
Dr. Kurt Wilson grew up in the Inland Empire and is a local government expert, advocate, and educator with over a quarter century of experience leading local government agencies. He is a former City of Rialto Councilmember, has held senior management positions in five cities across the West Coast, and has served in state and federal capacities including two Gubernatorial appointments from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
WRCOG Chair and Riverside County District 2 Supervisor Karen Spiegel commented, “After an extensive and competitive search for WRCOG’s next Executive Director, I am thrilled that one of the Inland Empire’s very own will be returning home to lead the Agency. Dr. Kurt Wilson’s extensive background in municipal management, coupled with experience as a former councilmember, and overarching dedication to public service made him in an exceptional choice for the position.”
In his preceding role as Interim City Manager for the City of Beaverton, Oregon, he was tasked with transitioning the organization from a strong Mayor-form of government to a Councilmanager form of government. He is best known for leading the City of Stockton in a financial turnaround from Chapter 9 bankruptcy and culminating with a ranking of 2nd most fiscally healthy large city in America. He is the current Vice President for the California affiliate of the International City and County Management Association, former President of the City Managers’ Department of the League of California Cities (Cal Cities), and former Board member for the California City Management Foundation. He also teaches courses for the International Association of Government Officials and a graduate course on criminal justice reform for the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy.
For 30 years, WRCOG has been a driving force for leading innovative programs and collaborative solutions in the areas of transportation, planning, energy, environment, and conservation that benefit its members which include the County of Riverside, 18 cities, two water districts, and the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools.
In response to being named as WRCOG’s next Executive Director, Dr. Kurt Wilson stated that “Professionally, I’m excited to take on such an exciting role and am pleased with the range of challenges and opportunities currently facing WRCOG and the greater Inland Southern California region. Personally, I’m looking forward to being closer to family and rekindling many longstanding relationships with people in the area.” He will begin serving in his new role July 2021.
WRCOG is a joint powers authority, consisting of the County of Riverside, 18 cities, two regional water districts, and the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools. Its actions and activities are guided by its members. Recognizing that issues related to growth are not constrained by city or county boundaries, WRCOG focuses on a number of regional matters important to the future of Western Riverside County. By working together through its committee structure and utilizing existing resources, WRCOG is cost-effective by reducing duplication of effort and sharing information, enabling strong advocacy and strengthening Western Riverside County’s standing in Southern California and the state. WRCOG’s program areas are varied and range from transportation to air quality, solid waste, environment, energy, economy, sustainability, and growth. For more information about WRCOG please visit http://www.wrcog.us/.