Chief Race and Equity Officer
Samia Byrd is the Chief Race and Equity Officer for Arlington County. She will lead 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 an equity lens.
Byrd joined Arlington County serving as a Principal Planner in the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development in 2007. Her work as a planner for Arlington County built upon her career offering state and local practitioners resources and information on housing and community economic development policy, practices and programs. She has been instrumental in providing oversight and managing the County’s special exception land use and development review processes. She has also managed and facilitated the review of several notable complex, multifaceted, development proposals and has served as both Site Plan and Use Permit Coordinator for Arlington County.
Prior to joining the County, Ms. Byrd served for more than eight years as a Manager with Quadel Consulting, a firm specializing in affordable housing management. She was instrumental in developing the award winning HOPE VI Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing authorities in San Antonio, TX and Chester, PA. In addition, Ms. Byrd has significant experience working with Public and Indian Housing serving as on-site manager for the Disaster Voucher Program for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has also served as Director of State Fiscal Analysis and Policy for the National Council of Nonprofit Associations, and a Research Associate with the Urban Land Institute where she worked on low income tax policy, neighborhood and community economic development programs, and real estate development markets and trends.
Ms. Byrd is an alumni of the Urban Land Institute’s Regional Land Use Leadership Program and 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 an Associate Member of ULI and a member of ULI Washington’s NEXT Initiative Council.
Ms. Byrd, 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 resides in Springfield, Virginia with her husband and two children.