The leader of the metro area's regional government is stepping down early to take a job at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank.
Alene Tchourumoff leaving is leaving her position as chairwoman of the Metropolitan Council on Nov. 30, the council announced Tuesday. Her term was nearly up, however, since the state's next governor will appoint his own chair in January.
Tchourumoff will become the Minneapolis Fed's senior vice president for community development and engagement.
"It has been my privilege to serve in this capacity as part of Governor Dayton's administration," Tchourumoff said. "The Metropolitan Council is a unique entity with extremely important responsibilities."
The Met Council is one of the most powerful regional governments in the country, overseeing transit service, wastewater treatment, land use planning and other issues that span the seven-county metro. The governor appoints its 17-member board, which is led by a full-time chair.
The vice chairman of the council, Harry Melander, will take over for the remainder of Gov. Mark Dayton's term. Melander is president of the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council and executive vice president at Dougherty Funding.
Tchourumoff is the 15th chair of the agency, which is just over 50 years old, and the third under Dayton's tenure. In 2017, she replaced Adam Duininck, who left for a job at the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters.
Her tenure was marked largely by negotiations related to the Southwest light-rail project, which has been dogged by lawsuits and rising costs in the last year.
Tchourumoff entered the job with less political baggage than some of her more partisan predecessors. She previously worked on rail safety issues in the governor's office and served as a planning director at Hennepin County.
Her departure was not entirely unexpected. She was named a finalist to become Ramsey County manager this summer, but the County Board ultimately chose another candidate.
In a statement, Dayton said Tchourumoff has been an "outstanding" chair of the council. "Her devoted service has made our Metropolitan region stronger," Dayton said.