Chief Race and Equity Officer, Deputy County Manager
Samia Byrd is the Chief Race and Equity Officer for Arlington County. In this role, she leads the County’s work to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion both internal and external to the organization. This includes guiding and facilitating the development and implementation of important policies and practices through a racial equity lens.
Samia served as a Deputy County Manager for three years after spending a decade as a Principal Planner in the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development for Arlington County. Since joining the County in 2007, she has been instrumental in providing oversight and managing the County’s special exception land use and development review processes. She also managed and facilitated the review of several notable complex, multifaceted, development proposals and served as both Site Plan and Use Permit Coordinator. In her role as Deputy County Manager her portfolio includes the County’s Planning, Housing, Neighborhood Services, Historic Preservation, Zoning and Inspection Services Divisions. She was also liaison to the County Board on behalf of the County Manager for monthly Board meetings and agenda.
Her work in government administration, land use planning and development with Arlington County builds upon her career offering state and local practitioners resources and information on housing and community economic development policy, practices and programs. In addition to her time in Arlington County, Samia also served as Manager with Quadel Consulting Corporation where she worked on strategic, community and master planning, short and long-term organization and program-specific local housing authority plans, and the Director of State Fiscal Analysis and Policy for the National Council of Nonprofit Associations where she examined tax policy to determine its impacts on low income and vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Earlier in her career, she held a research position with the Urban Land Institute where she worked on real estate development markets and trends and Aspen Systems Corporation where she provided resource information to HUD grantees on neighborhood and community economic development programs.
Samia, a native of Hampton, VA, earned a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in City Planning from Georgia Tech and the University of Virginia respectively. She received a Certification of Public Management (CPM) from The George Washington University-Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Institute for Regional Excellence in 2012. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and is an alumni of the ULI Regional Land Use Leadership Program. She serves on the ULI-Washington Urban Plan Steering Committee; Diversity and Inclusion Working Group; and participated in ULI-Washington’s Pathways to Inclusion Program. Samia also serves on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Planning Committee in Alexandria and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She resides in Springfield, Virginia with her husband and two children.