City of Jacksonville


R. Brett James, LLA, AICP, Appointed Director of Planning and Development

February 05, 2024

Mayor Donna Deegan has appointed R. Brett James to serve as Director of Planning and Development for the City of Jacksonville, effective Monday, February 5, 2024.

Prior to serving as the Director of Strategic Planning for the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command in San Diego, California, James spent eight years as the senior civilian leader for Asset Management at two NAVFAC commands, Southwest and Far East. In these roles, he was responsible for master planning, project development, real estate, public-private partnerships, geographic information mapping, and real property accountability for Navy land and facilities valued at over $100 billion across Japan, Korea, Singapore, Diego Garcia, and the southwest U.S. James’ background includes nine years in planning director positions at U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps installations in Japan. This followed his start in city planning, with six years as Associate Planner for Oklahoma City.  James’ 24-year U.S. Navy career included a 15-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to the Horn of Africa and Bagram, Afghanistan.

During his 23-year federal career, James established himself as an industry leader in the federal planning niche. As a longstanding member of the American Planning Association, he was elected as Chair, Conference Chair, and Vice Chair of its eminent Federal Planning Division. Career accolades include Outstanding Community Planner for the U.S. Air Force and the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal.

As Director of Planning and Development, he will be responsible for all operations of the City’s Planning and Development Department, including the Community Planning, Current Planning, Development Services, Building Inspection, Transportation Planning, and the Office of Resiliency. 

“I’m excited to see Brett join our administration as the Director of Planning and Development,” said Mayor Donna Deegan. “His successful career brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge to Jacksonville, both of which will benefit our citizens now and into the future.”