Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

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MWCOG Official Logo (2013).jpg
Motto One Region Moving Forward
Formation 1957
Type Council of Governments
Headquarters 777 N. Capitol Street NE
  • Washington, D.C.
Executive Director Chuck Bean
Budget $26 million[1]

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) is an independent, nonprofit association where area leaders address regional issues affecting the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia. The Council of Governments comprises 22 local governments in the Washington metropolitan area, as well as area members of the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives. About 300 local, state and federal elected officials make up its membership. It was founded in 1957.[2]

Vision, Mission, and Functions[edit]

Vision: "Region Forward is our vision. It's a commitment by MWCOG and its member governments, who together seek to create a more accessible, sustainable, prosperous, and livable metropolitan Washington."[3]

Mission: "Our mission is to make Region Forward happen by being a discussion forum, expert resource, issue advocate, and catalyst for action."[4]

The Council of Governments works on issues of regional significance, including transportation, the environment, land use planning and housing, and public safety and health. Policies are set through the Board of Directors, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), and the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee (MWAQC).[5] These bodies are the organization's three main boards and they are responsible for a broad range of issues under the MWCOG umbrella.

Other key boards and policy committees at MWCOG include the Region Forward Coalition, the Climate, Energy, and Environment Policy Committee, the Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee, and the Human Services and Public Safety Policy Committee. The Council of Governments' top priority is advancing the Region Forward vision through the work of its Board of Directors, policy boards, committees, and the following programs.[6]


MWCOG has provided leadership in supporting the development of key transportation facilities in the region, in particular the Washington Metro subway system and Washington Dulles International Airport.[2] The council's transportation planning program promotes a well-managed and maintained regional system with a broad range of transportation choices. It supports the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the metropolitan Washington area. The TPB is responsible for ensuring state and federal approval of funding for transportation projects. The TPB became associated with the Council of Governments in 1966.[7] TPB data informs officials on subjects like regional travel patterns and highway and transit performance. Recent projects include identifying regional transportation priorities and funding strategies, improving access for people with disabilities, and better coordinating transportation and land use decisions.


Clean water, air, and land and a smaller carbon footprint are priorities of MWCOG's environmental programs. Through the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee, which is the entity certified by the mayor of Washington, D.C. and the governors of Maryland and Virginia to prepare an air quality plan for the Washington Metropolitan Area under Section 174 of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,[8] officials prepare clean air plans.[9] These plans have led to steady improvement in regional air quality. The Council supports ongoing efforts to revitalize the Chesapeake Bay, the Anacostia River, and other local waterways as well as wastewater and stormwater planning, and water supply protection.[10] MWCOG is also guiding the regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting alternative energy sources, energy conservation, and green building[11] and fleet policies.

Planning & Housing[edit]

MWCOG's Community Planning and Services program promotes a strong economy, sustainable growth, and housing options for all residents. The Council of Governments offers strategies for more development in the region's mixed-use Activity Centers and provides the region with population, employment, and housing forecasts, and data on area industries and labor, affordable housing, and homelessness. MWCOG also regularly measures progress towards the goals of "Region Forward," a long-term sustainability planning process that was initiated in 2008.[12][13]

Public Safety & Health[edit]

Safe and healthy communities are the focus of the Council of Governments' public safety and health program. MWCOG brings together area officials, emergency planners, and first responders to improve homeland security and emergency preparedness. The Council also provides regional crime reports and convenes conferences on timely topics such as preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, gangs, and childhood obesity.

Member Jurisdictions[edit]

District of Columbia Washington, D.C. 632,323[14]
Town of Bladensburg Maryland 9,233[15]
City of Bowie Maryland 55,232[16]
Charles County Maryland 146,551[17]
City of Gaithersburg Maryland 61,045[18]
Prince George's County Maryland 871,233[19]
City of College Park Maryland 30,587[20]
City of Greenbelt Maryland 23,281[21]
City of Rockville Maryland 62,334[22]
Montgomery County Maryland 971,777[23]
City of Takoma Park Maryland 17,021[24]
Frederick County Maryland 233,385[25]
City of Frederick Maryland 66,169[26]
City of Alexandria Virginia 144,301[27]
Fairfax County Virginia 1,100,692[28]
City of Fairfax Virginia 22,565[29]
Loudoun County Virginia 312,311[30]
Arlington County Virginia 216,004[31]
City of Falls Church Virginia 12,751[32]
Prince William County Virginia 402,002[33]
City of Manassas Virginia 37,821[34]
City of Manassas Park Virginia 14,273[35]

2013 Board of Directors Leadership[edit]

Member Jurisdiction
Council of Governments Chairwoman Karen Young Frederick, Maryland Board of Aldermen (President Pro Tem)
Council of Governments Vice Chair Phil Mendelson District of Columbia Council (Chairman)
Council of Governments Vice Chair Bill Euille City of Alexandria Mayor


Council of Governments Board of Directors Chairmen
Year(s) Chairman Jurisdiction
1957–61 Robert F. McLaughlin District of Columbia
1962 Charles R. Fenwick Virginia General Assembly
1962 Brig. Gen. F. J. Clarke District of Columbia
1963 Anne A. Wilkins Fairfax County
1964 Roye L. Lowry Arlington County
1965 Brig. Gen. C. M. Duke District of Columbia
1966–67 Achilles M. Tuchtan Rockville
1968 Frederick A. Babson Fairfax County
1969 Francis B. Francois, Jr. Prince George's County
1970 Joseph L. Fisher Arlington County
1971 Gilbert Hahn, Jr. District of Columbia
1972–73 Martha V. Pennino Fairfax County
1974–75 Sterling Tucker District of Columbia
1976 Francis B. Francois, Jr. Prince George's County
1977 Harold L. Miller Falls Church
1978–79 Arrington L. Dixon District of Columbia
1980–81 Elizabeth L. Scull Montgomery County
1981–83 Carl F. Hendrickson Loudoun County
1984–85 H.R. Crawford District of Columbia
1986–87 Gil Weidenfeld Greenbelt
1988–89 Ellen M. Bozman Arlington County
1990 Betty Ann Kane District of Columbia
1991 James E. Nathanson District of Columbia
1992–93 Hilda Pemberton Prince George's County
1994 Patricia S. Ticer Alexandria
1995 Jack Evans District of Columbia
1996 William E. Hanna, Jr. Montgomery County
1997 Robert B. Dix, Jr. Fairfax County
1998 Charlene Drew Jarvis District of Columbia
1999 M.H. Jim Estepp Prince George's County
2000 Gerald E. Connolly Fairfax County
2001 Carol Schwartz District of Columbia
2002 Bruce R. Williams Takoma Park
2003 Mary K. Hill Prince William County
2005 Judith F. Davis Greenbelt
2006 Jay Fisette Arlington County
2007 Vincent C. Gray District of Columbia
2008 Michael Knapp Montgomery County
2009 Penny Gross Fairfax County
2010 Kwame Brown District of Columbia
2011 Andrea Harrison Prince George's County
2012 Frank Principi Prince William County
2013 Karen Young City of Frederick


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "A Regional Partnership". Washington Post. 2007-11-14.  Editorial.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), Washington, DC. "About COG." Accessed 2013-02-17.
  6. ^
  7. ^ MWCOG. "The Transportation Planning Board." Accessed 2011-07-31.
  8. ^ MWCOG. "Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee - Description." Accessed 2011-07-31.
  9. ^ Hyslop, Margie (2007-03-21). "Air-quality plan drafted by Council of Governments". The Gazette (Gaithersburg, MD). 
  10. ^ Shiau, Ellen (2002-02-27). "Area officials, residents watchful of water shortages". The Gazette (Gaithersburg, MD). 
  11. ^ Fahrenthold, David A. (2007-12-13). "Governments Are Urged to Build Greener". Washington Post. 
  12. ^ Lewis, Roger K. (2010-08-14). "Shaping the City: Overcoming the obstacles to regional cooperation". Washington Post. 
  13. ^ MWCOG. "About Region Forward." Accessed 2013-02-17.
  14. ^ Washington, DC
  15. ^ Bladensburg, Maryland
  16. ^ Bowie, Maryland
  17. ^ Charles County, Maryland
  18. ^ Gaithersburg, Maryland
  19. ^ Prince George's County, Maryland
  20. ^ College Park, Maryland
  21. ^ Greenbelt, Maryland
  22. ^ Rockville, Maryland
  23. ^ Montgomery County, Maryland
  24. ^ Takoma Park, Maryland
  25. ^ Frederick County, Maryland
  26. ^ Frederick, Maryland
  27. ^ Alexandria, Virginia
  28. ^ Fairfax County, Virginia
  29. ^ Fairfax, Virginia
  30. ^ Loudoun County, Virginia
  31. ^ Arlington County, Virginia
  32. ^ Falls Church
  33. ^ Prince William County, Virginia
  34. ^ Manassas, Virginia
  35. ^ Manassas Park, Virginia

External links[edit]