Fairfax County Executive
Q1. In addition to holding a master’s degree in public administration, you majored in public administration as an undergraduate. What made you decide on that career path?
Bryan Hill: I started my college career in computer science, but I attended a liberal arts college where I was fortunate enough to be exposed to many disciplines. After taking a few classes in public administration, the subject caught my interest and I decided to change my major, with a significant emphasis on public finance.
Q2. What types of professional development experiences have been most helpful to you as you’ve progressed in your career?
BH: Attending conferences continues to be a great professional development opportunity. I have gone from attending and speaking with colleagues to now delivering presentations on topics we all face daily. I try to provide alternative solutions as well as strategies to incorporate while communicating.
Q3. You’ve served in county government in James City County and Beaufort County, South Carolina, and you’ve also worked in finance for two large public universities. How does your experience with higher education influence your approach to working in local government?
BH: My approach has been to communicate how to get things done in a cost-effective and constructive way that benefits everyone involved. Every organization I’ve worked for has faced financial challenges due to reduced state support, and needed to grow revenue to accomplish the mission. The influence of my experience in higher education is probably most significant in my approach when it comes to ensuring that all relevant data has been analyzed through thorough research. That ability to interpret information, while using it to implement a plan, allows me to support our Board’s goals and expectations.
Q4. One of your most important projects at James City County was developing a 20-year strategic plan. From your perspective, what are the major challenges and opportunities facing Fairfax County in the next 20 years? Do you anticipate undertaking a similar formal planning effort in Fairfax County?
BH: Fairfax County is in an excellent position for continued economic development. Our changing world climate is dictating our need to adjust and adapt. We are in the process of developing a countywide strategic plan detailing Board goals and objectives, with the process kicking off in August. And, of course, we are constantly reviewing our processes in an attempt to streamline and become more efficient.
Q5. What projects are you most excited to take on in your new role?
BH: There’s a lot to be excited about here but two projects that I’m particularly happy to be a part of are the adaptive reuse of the old Lorton Prison facility—our plan is to renovate and incorporate the arts and sports tourism into this wonderful venue, providing our residents and guests with a place for family friendly activities that showcase our community. Another project is One Fairfax, which focuses on our work towards social and racial equity in Fairfax County. Our strategic planning process will incorporate necessary policies and goals as we move toward an even more inclusive community that provides opportunities for all.
Q6. You likely have been very busy in your first five months in a new job. What do you do for fun when you have the chance?
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle