Chair Mary Hynes was first elected to the Arlington County Board in 2007. As a civic activist and public servant for more than 20 years, she has consistently and effectively led Arlington’s efforts to strengthen its government by enhancing civic participation, improving government management, and increasing investment in the County’s physical infrastructure.
A major focus for Ms. Hynes this year is her PLACE – Participation, Leadership and Civic Engagement – Initiative,
which builds on the community’s valued tradition of civic engagement known as “the Arlington Way.” The goal of PLACE is to expand Arlington’s civic conversation by identifying and linking the many organizations that serve the community and strengthening the relationships between these organizations, the people they serve and County government.
Throughout her career, Ms. Hynes has brought strong leadership to the planning and management of Arlington’s public physical infrastructure. Her advocacy led the County to establish a Capital Improvement Program citizen working group, a facilities and parks condition assessment, as well as prioritization criteria to guide future investment strategies.
A cornerstone of Ms. Hynes’ work is ensuring that Arlington County is well prepared to respond to emergencies. In addition to protecting and providing for Arlington citizens, Arlington County is home to and has a special responsibility for federal facilities including the Pentagon and Reagan National Airport. Preparedness is a vital aspect of responding to the economic challenges facing Arlingtonians. As a result, Ms. Hynes has made the creation and maintenance of our social support systems a high priority.
Ms. Hynes also has frequently worked to make government more responsive and effective at the regional level. As a member of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) Board, she chaired the Governance Committee and led the Metro Board’s successful effort to improve its practices and performance. Actively involved at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), Ms. Hynes is Vice-Chair of COG’s Region Forward Coalition, the public-private consortium created to pursue COG’s vision for the region’s future. As a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s Executive and Legislative Committees, Ms. Hynes has worked to revitalize the organization and improve relations with the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Prior to joining the Arlington County Board, Ms. Hynes served for 12 years as an Arlington School Board member, serving as its chair on three occasions. Ms. Hynes and her husband Patrick have resided in Arlington for nearly 35 years and are the parents of five Arlington Public School graduates. Ms. Hynes graduated from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, which honored her in 2007 as a distinguished alumna.