Barbara Donnellan is County Manager of Arlington County, Virginia.
Ms. Donnellan was named County Manager in October, 2010, becoming the first woman named County Manager in Arlington. She began her career with the County in 1983.
Under Ms. Donnellan’s leadership, Arlington County has successfully implemented nationally-recognized Smart Growth planning policies and continued the sound financial policies that have earned the County its triple-Aaa bond rating for many years.
In 2013, the County won the American Planning Association’s National Planning Achievement Award for Innovation in Economic Planning and Development for its Crystal City Sector Plan. The County also opened Long Bridge Park on the Potomac River, completed the Arlington Mill Community Center, and facilitated the establishment of Boeing’s East Coast headquarters in Crystal City. The County also has intensified its efforts to revitalize the key Columbia Pike corridor, and expanded its efforts to preserve affordable housing.
She has worked on several key public/private partnership projects for the County, including: Ballston Garage; E-Trade; Shirlington redevelopment; Gates of Arlington; Economic Development Incentives; US Airways; Washington Capitals; and Rosslyn BID development.
In 2013, Leadership Arlington awarded Ms. Donnellan its Community Impact Award for her "visionary guidance and dedication to Leadership Arlington and the Arlington Community."
Ms. Donnellan is a leader in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), the nonprofit association that brings together area leaders to address major regional issues in the Washington Metropolitan Region. She is former chairwoman of COG’s Chief Administrative Officers Committee, the main regional panel that advises the COG Board. She currently serves as chair of COG's Chief Administrative Officers Homeland Security Executive Committee. In Oct. 2014, she received2014 Visionary Leadership Award , a prize that recognizes top government officials for their outstanding contributions to metropolitan Washington and their home jurisdictions. The award is sponsored by COG's Institute for Regional Excellence (IRE).
In 2002, Governor Warner appointed Ms. Donnellan to the Virginia Resources Authority. Governor Kaine reappointed her to the authority in 2006 and 2009.
In 2009, Leadership Greater Washington presented Ms. Donnellan its highest honor —the Fannie Mae Volunteer of the Year Award, honoring her for her role in expanding the Youth Leadership Greater Washington program through enhanced planning, fundraising, and recruiting. She is a member of Leadership Greater Washington Class of 1999 and has served on its Board. Since 1999, she has served on the Board of Youth Leadership Greater Washington and served as President from 2001-2006. She also has served as a volunteer for Arlington County Meals on Wheels and for other community boards.
Ms. Donnellan started her career in County government as Budget Analyst. She rose to be Senior Tax Policy Coordinator, working with the business community to resolve complex County tax-related issues. From March 1999 to January 2000, she served as Acting Director of Management and Finance (DMF), and then served as DMF Director until October 2005, when she was named Deputy County Manager. Beginning in 2009, she served seven months as Acting County Manager.
Ms. Donnellan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s in Government and Politics from St. John’s University in New York. She and her husband Kevin were married in 1983, the same year she joined Arlington County government.