Gov. Tim Pawlenty named McFarlin to the position starting Jan. 2.
McFarlin left the state transportation department six months ago after serving as acting commissioner when the Minnesota Senate removed Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau as commissioner. He had been a key aide to Molnau.
McFarlin is now a vice president at Weber Shandwick, a public relations company in Bloomington.
He will represent a western Hennepin County district.
The Metropolitan Council operates the Metro Transit bus system and oversees regional planning for airports, transportation, parks and water in the Twin Cities area.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)