Milwaukee Public Library
Press Release

Milwaukee Public Library Hires Sam McGovern-Rowen to Manage Library Development Project

Sam McGovern-Rowen will oversee the $21.5 million library branch redevelopment program.

By - Jun 5th, 2014 10:43 am
Sam McGovern-Rowen

Sam McGovern-Rowen

Library Director Paula Kiely announces Sam McGovern-Rowen will join the Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) to oversee the $21.5 million library branch redevelopment program.  McGovern-Rowen will serve as project manager for the rebuilding of four library branches.  MPL intends to pursue mixed-use developments for all four branches with plans to complete the projects within five to seven years. Funding for library development, including the project manager position, was announced by Mayor Tom Barrett in his 2013 proposed budget and supported by the Milwaukee Common Council under the leadership of Council President Michael Murphy, then Chair of Finance and Personnel.

“Sam brings a unique skill-set with public, private and non-profit experience,” said Library Director Paula Kiely. “Sam’s diverse experience will be incredibly valuable to the library as we pursue multiple mixed-use projects much like the successful Villard Square Branch and the soon-to-open East Branch.”

McGovern-Rowen spent the last six years at the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (NWSCDC) as a director for the organization, most recently as director of its $3.5 million Community Development Financial Institution business loan fund.  He shared responsibility for planning and implementation of all the NWSCDC’s economic development projects representing more than $60 million of public/private investment over the past four years.  The NWSCDC was also the non-profit co-developer of MPL’s first mixed-use library project at Villard Square and is credited with aligning the public/private development of 47 grand-family apartments above the Villard Square Branch. In 2013, he also assisted in the development of a $4 million public/private partnership to address foreclosures on the north side of Milwaukee.

From 2005-2008, McGovern-Rowen served as the chief aide to Alderman Michael D’Amato and worked in the banking industry managing securities prior to entering public service.

Since 2011, McGovern-Rowen served as a Mayoral-appointed member of the Library Board of Trustees until resigning to accept his position at the library, which will start on Monday, June 9th.

McGovern-Rowen is married and has three sons.  He and his family reside in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

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