Jennifer Liptak — who spent 26 years in Allegheny County government, including 12 as the top assistant to former County Executive Rich Fitzgerald — is following her old boss to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.

The county announced Friday that Liptak resigned as county manager for new County Executive Sara Innamorato to join the commission in the newly created position of deputy executive director/chief operating officer. Liptak was Fitzgerald’s chief of staff for 12 years and finished as county manager in the final few months of his term after previously working for the district attorney’s office and serving as County Council’s budget director.

“I’ve been thinking for a long time about work-life balance,” Liptak said in an interview Friday after conducting the monthly meeting of the Pittsburgh Regional Transit board, where she is the vice chair.

“I had the opportunity to stay [with the county]. I felt it was the right time to move on to new opportunities.”

In a news release, Innamorato said it was “bittersweet” for Liptak to move on.

“I want to personally thank her for shepherding my administration with an exceptionally professional and smooth transition for the last six months,” Innamorato said. “We have learned so much from her and enjoyed working with her immensely, but after 12 demanding years as a chief of staff to the county executive and county manager we respect her decision to start a new chapter in her professional journey.”

Fitzgerald said in a news release from SPC that Liptak had a lot to do with improvements in many aspects of the county and he’s pleased she is joining him at SPC. In January, Fitzgerald went to the 10-county planning agency, which sets priorities for spending federal transportation funds, when term limits prevented him from another term as county executive.

“From the success of the airport, investing in infrastructure, rehabilitating bridges, the vibrancy of the trails and parks, and making the county government’s operations more efficient, Jennifer has been instrumental in bringing these initiatives to fruition,” he said. “Now, Jennifer will be able to use her outstanding qualities and experiences to support the 10-county region with its transportation, infrastructure, economic, workforce and quality of life priorities.” 

At SPC, Liptak will oversee a 50-member staff and report directly to Fitzgerald.

Deputy County Manager Steve Pilarski will serve as acting manager until a new one is selected by Innamorato and confirmed by County Council.

Ed Blazina

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Ed Blazina

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at