Richard A. Monteilh

Position: Executive vice president of the District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

Career highlights: Most recently director of the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development. Monteilh previously served as director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority. He has also been chief administrative officer for the City of Newark and deputy chief administrative officer for the City of Atlanta.

Age: 55

Education: Received a BA degree in social science from Grand Canyon Univeristy in Phoenix, and earned a master's degree in urban studies from Occidental College.

You have been called a very effective -- but sometimes confrontational -- leader. Do you view this as a necessary evil or a integral part of your leadership style? "With [the Department of Housing and Community Development] I did what I had to do to get the job done, in a department that I inherited. The situation and my role here in the chamber is very different, where there is already a sterling leadership in place. Because of the initiatives and support already in place, because we have a bigger team and the assets of a substantial board of influential people, at the end of the day, it is easier here to hit the ground running. Given the directions I've gotten from the board and the president, we will have a much more activist chamber."

How does the economic development plan you helped draft for the city last year fit into your goals for the D.C. Chamber? "The creation of private sector jobs remains an important goal for the chamber, because we don't foresee a lot of growth in government jobs. Other issues facing the chamber involve helping District businesses do business with each other, growing more businesses based here in D.C. . . . and establishing tax parity with surrounding jurisdictions. We also want to help the city meet its `quality of life' objectives -- which serves the interest of the business community as well -- in making it a more desirable place to live."