Dylan Mullenix Named Executive Director of the Des Moines Area MPO

‘Compelling vision’ sets stage for unanimous support

Dylan Mullenix has been named Executive Director of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

The MPO Policy Committee voted unanimously Thursday to extend a written offer to Mullenix, which he accepted. He will start in the position Monday, February 19. The employment contract will be executed at a special Policy Committee meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 7.

“Dylan has proven his worth time and again over his nearly 18 years with the MPO,” said Bob Andeweg, Mayor of Urbandale and Chair of the MPO. “We conducted an extensive and inclusive search for the next executive director, and the process validated that Dylan is absolutely the leader we need. Dylan exceeded the Search Committee’s already high expectations with his compelling vision for the future of the MPO. The full Policy Committee has the upmost confidence in his ability to lead the organization forward.”

Mullenix has served as the MPO’s Interim Executive Director since May 2023, leading a team of eight staff members and managing a $2 million annual operating budget. He has been with the MPO for nearly 18 years, starting as an entry-level planner and working his way up to Principal Planner, Assistant Director, and Interim Executive Director. His education includes Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Master of Science, School of Planning and Public Affairs, both from the University of Iowa.

“I am grateful that we are coming out of the search process with strong alignment among our board members, and I look forward to working with them to optimize the MPO to its fullest potential,” Mullenix said. “Transportation is foundational to the success of our region, and the MPO plays such an important role in bringing the numerous regional players together to determine priorities, find resources, and sustain focused attention on projects of regional impact.”

The MPO is a regional transportation planning entity of local communities and transportation agencies in the Greater Des Moines region. The MPO maintains the region’s long-range transportation plan and has invested more than $75 million in local transportation projects over the past five years. The MPO also serves as a launching pad for regionally significant projects such as the Des Moines Transload Facility.

Mullenix will help guide several important planning efforts. These include an update to Mobilizing Tomorrow, the region’s long-range transportation plan, which will help shape $80 million in upcoming investments. They also include the development of a comprehensive safety action plan for the region, which aims to eliminate serious injuries and deaths from the region’s transportation network. 

An extensive search process was conducted by the local team of Cassandra Halls of 2 THE TOP and Diana Deibler of Deibler & Company, under the direction of the MPO Policy Committee and Search Committee.

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