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Planning Director Debra Campbell, Executive Team Member

Debra Campbell is responsible for leading a joint City/County planning agency that provides planning services for the City of Charlotte and the unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County. The Planning Department’s current 63-member staff is responsible for the rezoning, historic district designation and subdivision processes; providing transit station, business corridor and neighborhood planning services; annexation and capital needs assessment processes; staff support for long-range transportation planning (CRTPO); and zoning administration and interpretation. The department also works with a 14-member appointed Planning Commission. 

Debra has more than 29 years of experience in the fields of urban planning, transportation/land use integration, transit station area planning & development, neighborhood and business corridor revitalization, housing and community development. Her mission is to develop and implement public policy that makes Charlotte-Mecklenburg an eminently livable, economically vibrant and memorable urban center.

Before moving to Charlotte, Campbell held several professional positions with various nonprofit and public agencies.  She served as a consultant for Neighborhood Enterprise, a nonprofit housing agency, and as a planner with the Chattanooga Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission and the Tennessee State Planning Office. 

She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, where she received a masters in public administration in 1980 and a bachelor of science in urban planning in 1978.

Debra serves on the board of directors of four nonprofit organizations, including Charlotte Center City Partners, Foundation for the Carolinas, University City Partners and UNCC’s Center for Real Estate.​

  • American Planning Association (APA)
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI)
  • National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA)
  • Leadership Charlotte, Class XX
  • Leadership Development Institute Class X
  • 2013 Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Person of the Year
  • 2013 Mecklenburg Times 50 Most Influential Women
  • 2010 Willie J. Stratford Diversity Award
  • 2007 Governing Magazine Public Official of the Year
  • 2007 Outstanding Achievement Southern Piedmont Chapter of COMTO and National Forum for Black Public Administrators
  • 2005 A Child’s Place First Ladies of Charlotte
  • 2005 Business and Professional Women’s Club Achievement