This morning, the Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) announced that it recently hired Sam McGovern-Rowen to oversee the upcoming $21.5 million library branch redevelopment program.
McGovern-Rowen will serve as project manager for the rebuilding of four library branches, a project that is expected to take from five to seven years. Funding for the library redevelopment program was announced by Mayor Tom Barrett back in his 2013 proposed budget and supported by the Milwaukee Common Council.
For the past six years, McGovern-Rowen has worked with the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (NWSCDC) as a director for the organization. Most recently, he was the director of its $3.5 million Community Development Financial Institution business loan fund. He also shared the responsibility of planning and implementing all of the NWSCDC's economic development projects, representing more than $60 million of public and private investment over the past four years. In 2013, he also worked to develop a $4 million public/private partnership to address foreclosures in the north side of MIlwaukee.
He's previously worked with the Milwaukee Public Library as the non-profit co-developer of its first mixed-use library project at Villard Square, as well as helping align public and private development of 47 grand-family apartments above the Villard Square branch.
On the political side of things, McGovern-Rowen served as the chief aide to Alderman Michael D'Amato from 2005 until 2008. Prior to entering public service, he worked in the banking industry managing securities. Since 2011, he served as a Mayoral-appointed member of the Library Board of Trustees until recently resigned to accept to his new position.
McGovern-Rowen will begin working his new position starting Monday, June 9.