Gary J. Jastrzab (BA '76), one of the first graduates of the School of Architecture and Planning, is the retired executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, holding over four decades of experience in a variety of planning, project management, and public policy development initiatives.
The native Buffalonian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Design and Sociology from the University at Buffalo (1976), graduating cum laude and with special honors in Sociology. He also holds a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1983).
During his tenure as Planning Director, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission received two American Planning Association "National Planning Excellence" awards (“Best Planning Practices” in 2013 and “Best Planning Agency” in 2016), the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence (a 2014 personal achievement award and the 2015 agency award), and a Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia Grand Jury Award.
His career accomplishments include the adoption of a new Zoning Code for Philadelphia; the preparation of Philadelphia2035, the City’s first citywide comprehensive plan in 60 years; the creation of the Citizens Planning Institute to educate citizens and neighborhood organizations in planning-related matters; and establishing the Philadelphia Civic Design Review Committee to provide urban design guidance to developers proposing new building projects.
During his career, he held a number of leadership positions with local government boards, including the City Planning Commission.
Jastrzab is a member of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association Board of Directors, and currently serves as the Immediate Past President of that Board. He is also a leader of the UB Philadelphia Alumni Network.