County Manager Appoints Interim Director for Economic Development

Published on May 05, 2022

Shannon Flanagan-Watson

Today, I am pleased to appoint Shannon Flanagan-Watson as the Interim Director of Arlington Economic Development (AED), effective May 31. Shannon brings 28 years of combined experience working in and with local governments on a range of professional local government management and policy issues. 

Shannon has served as the Deputy County Manager since 2018, managing a portfolio that includes oversight responsibility for AED. Earlier, Shannon served as an Assistant County Manager with Arlington leading a variety of highly visible special projects and served as the Business Ombudsman working in partnership with the Arlington business community. She is also an Arlington County Board appointed member of the Boards of Directors with the Ballston BID (Business Improvement District), National Landing BID and Rosslyn BID. She currently serves as an ex-officio Board member of the Arlington Sister City Association.   

I also want to take the opportunity to express my appreciation for the leadership that Telly Tucker has provided over these past several years. Telly has been an incredibly valuable team member, especially during COVID over the past two years, addressing business challenges during the COVID pandemic and implementing our small business emergency relief grants. He has been instrumental in attracting businesses of varying sizes from Microsoft to Zebox, and facilitated the development of the “ReLaunch program” for small businesses. He has also led the development of 5G Smart City/Innovation districts with JBG SMITH and advanced the resiliency of our commercial market. While we are disappointed that Telly will be leaving Arlington at the end of May, we are excited for him to have this new opportunity as the President of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), located closer to his family in southern Virginia.  

Building on the strong foundation that has been established, I am confident that Shannon will offer effective leadership and guidance for AED during this transition.  We have already started the recruitment for a new Director, and I am confident that we will identify talented and skilled leaders to continue to support existing businesses, welcome new companies, and expand the economic development principles and values of diversity and inclusion in our community. 

- Mark Schwartz, Arlington County Manager  



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