Metro-East News

Jim Wild named executive director of East-West Gateway

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments board of directors on Wednesday approved the selection of Jim Wild as the new executive director of the St. Louis region’s federally designated metropolitan planning organization, the agency said.

Wild had been serving as the interim executive director since June 30, after the former executive director Edward Hillhouse resigned. Wild had been deputy executive director since 2012.

East-West Gateway is the federally designated metropolitan planning organization for the city of St. Louis and surrounding seven counties, including St. Clair, Madison and Monroe counties. East-West Gateway is responsible for about $900 million a year in transportation and other regional projects that require federal funding, the agency said.

The St. Louis resident said he wants to work on collaborating more as a region.

“We have a lot of big things coming up that will help strengthen the whole region,” Wild said.

Specifically for the metro-east, Wild said the recently-launched Regional Freight District promoting warehouses and rail yards in the region will help with economic development.

“We have a lot of opportunities,” Wild said. “It’s really about coordinating those things and aligning them, and move ahead as a region in one direction.”

The eight-member executive committee, which includes St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, and Monroe County Board of Commissioners Chairman Terry Liefer among others, had recommended the hiring of Wild in September, the agency said.

Wild has worked at the agency since 1993, serving as a transportation analyst, manager of project programming, division manager and senior manager. He also managed the development and implementation of Connected 2045 — the Long Range Transportation Plan for the St. Louis Region, and a Transportation Improvement Program for the region.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter