Mayor Nutter has appointed a former city official who spent the last 20 years in the private sector to be director of the city Office of Economic Opportunity.

Angela Dowd-Burton, the government-relations manager for chemical firm Rohm & Haas, will start March 15. She is the third person to lead the office, which Nutter established in late 2008 to replace the problem-plagued Minority Business Enterprise Council.

She will head implementation of the city's new economic-opportunity plan, which sets a goal that 25 percent of all city contracts will go to minority and female-owned businesses by July 2011.

"I am very excited about this strategic plan. I think it's aggressive; I also think it's doable," Dowd-Burton said.

A frequently cited problem in the city is the lack of minority participation in the city building trades. Dowd-Burton said she hoped to work with the unions.

"My focus is on the future and developing the strategic alliances that I believe need to be made," Dowd-Burton said. "Of course, the unions and working with them is a significant part of the strategic plan, and I look forward to building that relationship."

Her salary will be $135,000 annually.

Dowd-Burton was deputy director of finance and procurement commissioner under former Mayor W. Wilson Goode.