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Nixon names Tom Irwin, public policy veteran, to St. Louis Police Board.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 3, 2011 - Tom Irwin, who has served for decades as a top policy-maker to elected officials or the region's business leaders, has just added another title. Gov. Jay Nixon named Irwin today to the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners, which oversees the city's police department.

If confirmed by the state Senate, Irwin's tenure would run through January 31, 2015. He would replace Dr. Michael L. Gerdine, whose term expired last January.

Irwin currently is the executive director of Civic Progress, a group whose members are the top executives at the region's biggest companies. Most recently, he was senior vice president of public policy for the Regional Chamber and Growth Association, overseeing legislative activities on a state and congressional level.

Earlier, he was:

-- deputy director of the City of St. Louis' economic development agency;

-- executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission;

-- executive director of the Bi-State Development Agency, the precursor to Metro, the mass transit agency for the St. Louis region.

Before taking on those jobs, Irwin served in top positions for former Mayor Kevin White in Boston, former St. Louis Mayor Vincent C. Schoemehl and the late St. Louis County Executive George R. (Buzz) Westfall.

"Tom Irwin is a highly respected individual, whose broad policy experience and deep knowledge of the St. Louis region will make him an invaluable member of the St. Louis police board," Nixon said. "I am confident that his skills and insights will help the police board work effectively with Chief Dan Isom to serve all the citizens of St. Louis."

Nixon's announcement notes that Irwin "holds a master's degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in Classical Studies and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam."

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