News Release

Arlington County’s Barbara Donnellan Wins Visionary Leadership Award

Oct 22, 2014

Barbara Donnellan receiving the Visionary Leadership Award with Takoma Park Mayor and IRE Advisory Board Chair Bruce Williams at COG's Headquarters. For more photos from the IRE graduation, please visit COG's Flickr page.

Washington – Barbara Donnellan, Arlington County’s Chief Administrative Officer, received the 2014 Visionary Leadership Award on October 17, a prize that recognizes top government officials for their outstanding contributions to metropolitan Washington and their home jurisdictions.

The award is sponsored by the Institute for Regional Excellence (IRE) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG.) The Institute, in cooperation with George Washington University, also offers a graduate-level Certified Public Manager training program. Ms. Donnellan was honored at the IRE graduation ceremony.

Donnellan is the former chairwoman of COG’s Chief Administrative Officers Committee, the main regional panel that advises the COG Board. Currently, she chairs the Homeland Security Executive subcommittee that serves the CAOs.

“Donnellan has been a tireless advocate for regional cooperation and collaboration on many fronts,” said Chuck Bean, COG’s executive director. “Many of the Region’s achievements have been realized because of Barbara’s experience and dedication.”

Bruce Williams, Mayor of Takoma Park and Chairman of the IRE Advisory Board, said Ms. Donnellan’s signature achievements include successfully implementing smart-growth policies in Arlington County, helping the county win the American Planning Association’s  National Planning Achievement Award for Innovation in Economic Planning and Development, and attracting high-tech jobs to the county.

Donnellan has also helped the regional economy grow by maintaining sound fiscal policy, meriting Arlington County’s AAA-bond rating and by working on several key public-private partnerships, including collaboration with E-Trade, US Airways, the Washington Capitals and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District. Her impact on the region is felt beyond her four-year tenure as county manager, having started her career with Arlington County in 1983.

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