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Arlington Names New Head Of Economic Development

Arlington Economic Development Director Telly Tucker
Arlington Economic Development Director Telly Tucker

Arlington County has selected a new leader of its economic development agency after its two previous directors left for Fairfax County

Telly Tucker, an economic development official in southwestern Virginia, was named the new director of Arlington Economic Development, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz announced Thursday. He plans to start work Jan. 13. 

Tucker currently serves as director of economic development for Danville, Virginia, and he previously held economic development roles in James City County and Lynchburg. He was born in Lynchburg and received his bachelor's degree from James Madison University. 

The selection comes after Victor Hoskins left to lead Fairfax County Economic Development in July and his interim replacement, Alex Iams, also took a job with the FCEDA this month. 

The move also comes 13 months after Amazon selected Arlington as the landing spot for its second headquarters. Amazon has since moved into some of the space it is leasing from JBG Smith and it is moving through the entitlement stage for the new office buildings it plans to construct. 

Tucker, in an interview with Bisnow, said the spotlight Amazon put on Arlington County is part of what drew him to pursue the job. 

"One of the things that originally came to my attention is an opportunity to build on a community that has a lot of momentum, momentum obviously from Amazon and other large players," he said. "The county has really made a name for itself in Virginia."

Amazon HQ2
A rendering of the two 22-story towers Amazon plans for the first phase of HQ2

Tucker said he expects that momentum will help him bring other large companies to Arlington. He also plans to partner with Amazon to ensure the development of its second headquarters benefits everyone in the county. 

"I believe it's in all of our best interests to work together; the cliché of a rising tide lifting all boats is true," Tucker said. "My approach would be to come in and really take a role to listen and learn as much as I can about what interests they have, and what passions and goals they have, and where they see themselves being able to add value and weaving that into the county's and the region's priorities so we can all work together toward the same common goal."

Tucker also said he looks forward to working with neighboring counties and cities as part of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, a partnership of 10 jurisdictions announced in September

"Going forward, it makes a lot of sense for a region like Northern Virginia to work collaboratively from an economic development, marketing and branding standpoint," Tucker said. "I think there's a tremendous opportunity to continue to strengthen that."