Deputy County Manager
Shannon Flanagan-Watson was appointed as Deputy County Manager in May 2018, with oversight responsibility for Arlington Economic Development, Arlington Public Libraries, and a portion of the Department of Environmental Services, one of the County’s largest departments.
She brings nearly 25 years of combined experience working in and with local governments on a range of professional local government management and policy issues with extensive experience in customer service and public engagement.
Ms. Flanagan-Watson served as an Assistant County Manager with Arlington from 2005-2018 leading a variety of highly visible special projects and served as the Business Ombudsman since 2013 working in partnership with the Arlington business community. She also served as Acting Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, from July 2012-January 2013.
Prior to joining the County, Ms. Flanagan-Watson served as the Director of Business Development for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Previously, she worked for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments working on policy and outreach programs in the Metropolitan Washington region.
She is an active member of ICMA and holds several leadership positions currently as Chair of the Alliance for Innovation Board of Directors and as the Secretary-Treasurer for the National Association of County Administrators.
Ms. Flanagan-Watson currently serves as an ex-officio Board member of the Arlington Sister City Association and she is a member of the Boards of Directors of Ballston BID (Business Improvement District), Crystal City BID, and Rosslyn BID. She is also a member and past executive committee member of the Virginia Local Government Management Association.
She is a former member of the adjunct faculty at the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy, teaching in local government management.
In January 2012, she earned the designation of an ICMA Credentialed Manager. Ms. Flanagan-Watson holds a master of public administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a B.A. in Communications from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York.
Ms. Flanagan-Watson is a graduate and lifetime member of Leadership Arlington and a member of its Board of Regents. She volunteers her time with several organizations in the community and resides in Arlington with her family.