Sarah Lansdale has been appointed Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning for Suffolk County by County Executive Steve Bellone.
She succeeds Natalie Wright, who stepped down to become director of strategy for the Community Development Corp. of Long Island, a non-profit organization that builds affordable housing and helps renters and first-time home buyers.
Lansdale had worked for Wright as director of the county’s planning and environmental division. The division works to improve water quality, find new uses for polluted goods, support farmers and preserve green spaces.
Prior to joining the Suffolk government, Lansdale was executive director of Sustainable Long Island, a Farmingdale-based non-profit organization focused on community planning and economic development.
“Sarah Lansdale takes on the role of Commissioner with unrivaled experience and a track record of success as Suffolk’s Planning Director in protecting farmland and open space and driving water quality initiatives, transportation and affordable housing,” Bellone told Newsday on Thursday.
Lansdale was also unanimously elected chair of the county’s Industrial Development Agency board on Thursday. The position is unpaid and was previously held by Wright and other commissioners.
Wright was named commissioner in February 2020 and joined the Bellona administration in 2019 as chief deputy commissioner after four years in the office of governor of Storm Recovery.
Within the development company, Wright will help implement “strategic initiatives and development for future expansion,” CEO Gwen O’Shea said.