Assistant County Manager & Director of Communications and Public Engagement
Bryna Helfer is Assistant County Manager and Director of Communications and Public Engagement.
She has 30+ years of experience initiating, leading, and facilitating interagency coordination, program development, strategic planning, program evaluation, and systems change initiatives. She has a long history of coalition building at the federal, state, and local levels, and is known for her ability to forge partnerships between governmental programs and community based organizations. Bryna currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Prior to joining Arlington County, Bryna was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). She also served as the Senior Advisor to the USDOT Secretary on Accessibility and Workforce Development. She previously served as Senior Director of Civic Engagement for the National Academy of Public Administration, the Manager of Strategic Planning for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Senior Advisor for the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility, the Director of Easter Seals Project ACTION, and the Director of the National Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center. She began her career working in therapeutic recreation, enhancing opportunities for people with disabilities.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, a master’s degree from George Mason University, and a doctorate from The George Washington University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspiring Leaders Award and the Secretary of Transportation’s Gold Medal Award. She was honored by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials for “Women Moving the Nation.”
Bryna has lived in Arlington since 1989. She has served on the Highland Park -Overlee Knolls Civic Association, the Arlington Aquatics Committee and the Board of Directors of the ENDepedence Center of Northern Virginia. Bryna continues to teach adapted aquatics, and also plays violin with Malarkey and the Symphony of Northern Virginia.
County Manager’s Office
2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 302
Arlington, VA 22201