Gwen Wright, who for nine years has served as the director of the county’s Planning Department, announced Thursday she will retire, effective Jan. 1.

In a statement, Wright said she is “grateful” for her time with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which dates to 1987. She has held other roles, such as the historic preservation supervisor, chief of the countywide Planning Division and as acting planning director in 2007 and 2008.

“​​It has been a privilege to serve the community of Montgomery County, and to lead the land-use and planning of this special place,” Wright wrote in the statement. “My time with M-NCPPC has been incredible and fulfilling – both professionally and personally – and I will always value the relationships I have created with Planning Board members, staff, and community members.”

Wright said she is proud of several projects and initiatives the county has undertaken during her tenure, like completing several master plans that set the tone for development in different areas of the county; initiating the “equity in planning agenda” focusing the department’s engagement and planning on equity; and building the county’s historic preservation program.

The Planning Department did not immediately outline a plan for hiring Wright’s replacement.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at

Caitlynn Peetz

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at