Arlington hires new economic development director
Ryan Touhill comes from Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
Arlington Economic Development’s new director is Ryan Touhill, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz announced Monday.
Touhill will assume the role on Nov. 28. He succeeds Shannon Flanagan-Watson, who has been serving as interim director since Telly Tucker announced he was leaving to return to Danville, where he became president of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in April.
“I am thrilled to have Ryan at the helm of our economic development team, leading our community through an exciting period of commercial growth post-pandemic recovery,” Schwartz said in a statement. “He will be instrumental in fostering innovation and resiliency to advance economic growth and competitiveness in our community for small businesses and large corporations as well as foster real estate development, tourism, arts and cultural amenities.”
Touhill was senior vice president and chief of staff for the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. He helped manage the business development, small business and economic recovery departments and managed the partnership’s internal business operations. While at the partnership, Touhill served on the project management team that helped secure Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 East Coast headquarters.
Touhill has also worked for Alexandria’s city government in the budget and human resources departments.
“Arlington is a dynamic and innovative community that has proven it can achieve smart, sustainable growth for businesses and residents alike,” Touhill said in a statement. “I am excited about this opportunity to bring my passion of service to ensure that Arlington County is a top business destination.”
He previously served on the board of directors for Rebuilding Together DC – Alexandria and as a youth mentor for Space of His Own.
Touhill holds a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University and a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University.
“I am confident that Mr. Touhill will continue to strengthen important collaborative partnerships with Arlington’s business community across the region and the commonwealth. He will be a critical partner as we work together to strengthen our economic development capacity and accelerate the growth of tech startup companies and entrepreneurs,” Virginia Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Jason El Koubi said in a statement.