Photo courtesy of the City of Gadsden
On Monday, Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford announced his appointment of community development veteran Najsha Corbett as the city’s new community development planner. Corbett comes from the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, where she served as planner and community development director.
“Najsha is a five-star recruit,” said Ford. “Her experience working with the federal government and with municipalities has prepared her to take Gadsden’s stewardship of federal dollars to the next level. As we prepare to diversify and enhance our impact with community development funds, Najsha and her team will be able to bring unique perspectives to what is possible for the City of Gadsden.”
As a teen, Corbett began her career in the nonprofit sector working with the Boys and Girls Club of East Central Alabama and United Way organizations. At EARPDC, she worked with a 10-county region to meet the planning needs of communities within East Alabama.
Some of her work experience includes prospect research, proposal development, project management, emergency management and program evaluation. In 2022 alone, Corbett led projects to secure more than $6 million in direct funding from state, federal, foundation, corporate and individual sources for several municipalities and agencies throughout the East Alabama region.
Recently, the City of Gadsden engaged EARPDC to write a $5 million RAISE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. While that funding has not yet been decided, Mayor Ford commended Corbett’s ability to quickly organize the necessary team and components of an otherwise cumbersome and time-intensive grant-writing process.
Corbett attended Jacksonville State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences with a minor in marketing, and a Master of Arts in Integrated Studies with a concentration in public administration and emergency management.
Additionally, she is a Certified Alabama Planning and Zoning Official and holds a Local Government Professional Management Certification from the Government & Economic Development Institute at Auburn University. She has also served on numerous advisory committees for Jacksonville State University.
“I have a strong passion to serve and enjoy creating, implementing plans and witnessing the evolution of growth and change within communities,” said Corbett. “This opportunity is more than a job — this is an opportunity to make an impact in the City of Gadsden, and I am honored.”
Submitted by City of Gadsden Public Affairs Coordinator Michael Rodgers.