ULI Washington News

ULI Washington celebrates the graduation of the inaugural cohort of Regional Fellows

On September 14, ULI Washington celebrated the culmination of an innovative program aimed to spur and enhance regional collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries.

The Regional Fellows Program launched its inaugural year last February, and since then, four top decision-makers in three area jurisdictions – Fairfax County, Montgomery County, and the City of Alexandria – have each worked with ULI Washington to scope and study an intractable challenge facing their jurisdiction through a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP).

TAPs are signature ULI programs where, over the course of a two-day interactive experience, a multi-disciplinary panel of 8-12 public and private-sector land use experts jinks_testimonialfrom ULI’s membership meet with area stakeholders, tour a study area, and formulate recommendations to address the challenge. Each Regional Fellow also served as a member of another jurisdiction’s panel, resulting in a cross-fertilization of knowledge across jurisdictional boundaries.

The 12 Regional Fellows also met periodically throughout the program to follow up, to collectively work through challenges relating to their respective TAPs, to provide feedback to each other, and to share best practices.

The panels in the Regional Fellows Program probed three diverse but equally important challenges in the Metropolitan Washington Region:

  • Broadening the Effectiveness of Community Engagement in Fairfax County, VA
  • Positioning the White Oak Science Center Gateway for Success in Montgomery County, MD
  • Reinventing Alexandria’s West End in Alexandria, VA

All Fellowship Teams were assigned two faculty members – experts from ULI Washington’s membership base – who provided leadership and continuity by co-chairing a TAP and by following up with each Fellowship Team in the months after the TAP’s conclusion. Fellowship jurisdictions had the opportunity to continue the dialogue with their assigned faculty to gain clarity on specific recommendations, and to gather insights into how to implement the recommendation.

The 12 Regional Fellows who graduated on September 14 include:

Fairfax County

  • Sharon Bulova, Chair, Board of Supervisors
  • Kirk Kincannon, Acting County Executive
  • Barbara Byron, Director, Office of Community Revitalization
  • Fred Selden, Director, Department of Planning & Zoning 

Montgomery County

  • Isiah Leggett, County Executive
  • Greg Ossont, Deputy Director, Department of General Services
  • Jewru Bandeh, Regional Director, Montgomery County Eastern Region
  • Peter Fosselman, Implementation Coordinator, White Oak Science Gateway

City of Alexandria

  • Mark Jinks, City Manager
  • Karl Moritz, Planning Director
  • Stephanie Landrum, President & CEO, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
  • Yon Lambert, Director, Department of Transportation & Environmental Services

kincannon_testimonialFaculty members who committed their time and talent to each Fellowship Teams include: Rebecca Snyder, Strategic Property Partners; Chris Kurz, Linden Associates; Brian Jackson, EYA; Julia Koster, National Capital Planning Commission; Charles Hewlett, RCLCO; and Brian Cullen, Keane Enterprises.

The mission of the Regional Fellows Program is to empower public sector leaders in the Metropolitan Washington Region to build and sustain successful 21st Century communities by providing access to information, best practices, peer networks and other resources to foster creative, efficient, and sustainable land use practices.

A report documenting the recommendations from each TAP will be produced by ULI Washington in the coming months. This report will also highlight common challenges that surfaced throughout the year for all Fellowship jurisdictions. Several key themes – particularly issues related to public engagement, equity, and leggett_testimonialinvestment – emerged as trends among each of the three Regional Fellowship panels. The ultimate intent of the Regional Fellows Program is to probe these regional challenges, and through building bridges across jurisdictional boundaries, creatively address them.

The Regional Fellows Program was made possible through a generous sponsorship support. Partners in ensuring the success of this program included: The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; McGuire Woods; Chicago Title; The Silverwood Companies; Washington REIT; Lerch, Early & Brewer; The Young Group; and the ULI Foundation.

More information on the Regional Fellows Program may be found here. For more information, or to answer any questions, please contact Deborah Kerson Bilek at deborah.bilek@uli.org.

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