Isabel Cosio Carballo: New head of South Florida Regional Planning Council
Isabel Cosio Carballo has always been interested in the environment, history of South Florida and communities. She’s drawn to learning ways to create a great economy, jobs and opportunities, and connect people to opportunity so that everyone has the ability to maximize potential and contribute to the community, region and economic development.
It seems a perfect fit that Ms. Carballo serves as executive director of the South Florida Regional Planning Council, the mission of which is to identify the long-term challenges and opportunities facing Southeast Florida and assist the region’s leaders in the development and use of creative strategies that will result in prosperous and equitable communities, a healthier and cleaner environment and a more vibrant economy.
Ms. Carballo describes herself as a diehard regionalist. She said one of her strengths is the ability to understand and empathize with different perspectives: elected officials at different levels, community-based leaders and business leaders. All the experiences Ms. Carballo had throughout her career have uniquely come together to prepare her for her current role, she said.
When Ms. Carballo looks at the region, she sees people who are trying to create opportunities and address challenges. Her job, she said, is help them do that and to tell the story.
The council works to continuously integrate issues and conversations, Ms. Carballo said. In South Florida, she said, we are blessed to have great people and policy leaders throughout our public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. All are involved in very important conversations and work, but they don’t always have the opportunity to talk to each other.
That’s where the South Florida Regional Planning Council comes in, taking the role of regional convener, mediator and consensus builder. The council is like a little Switzerland, she said – a safe, neutral place where people can come together, share divergent views and talk about the important issues of our day.
Miami Today reporter Susan Danseyar interviewed Ms. Carballo in Coconut Grove.
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