Vice Chair, Arlington County Board
Mary Hughes Hynes was elected to the Arlington County Board in 2007. As a civic activist and public servant for more than 20 years, she has consistently and effectively led Arlington’s efforts to strengthen its government by enhancing civic participation, improving government management and increasing investment in Arlington’s public physical infrastructure. Her advocacy led Arlington to establish a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) citizen working group, a facilities and parks condition assessment as well as prioritization criteria to guide future investment strategies.
Ms. Hynes was instrumental in strengthening resident and business involvement Arlington’s emergency preparedness activities through the creation of the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Commission. Since preparedness is a vital aspect in the response to the economic challenges of Arlington’s citizens, Ms. Hynes has also made the creation and maintenance of Arlington’s social support systems a high priority.
Another major focus for Ms. Hynes is the Participation, Leadership and Civic Engagement (PLACE) Initiative, which builds on the community’s valued tradition of civic engagement — known as “the Arlington Way.” PLACE has three goals:
- Expanding participation in important County decision-making processes;
- Training both interested members of the public and staff in those processes; and
- Improving the quality of County government’s processes and set realistic expectations for broader participation in our decision-making.
Ms. Hynes has worked to make government more responsive and effective at the regional level. As a member of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) Board, she chaired the Governance Committee and led the Metro Board’s successful effort to improve its practices and performance. As a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s Executive and Legislative Committees, Ms. Hynes helped revitalize the organization and improve its relations with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Currently, as an active member at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and COG’s 2013 Elizabeth and David Scull Award for Regional Leadership, Ms. Hynes Chairs COG’s Region Forward Coalition, the public-private consortium created to pursue COG’s vision for the region’s future. Ms. Hynes also serves on the Executive Boards of the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and the Virginia Transit Association (VTA)
Prior to joining the Arlington County Board, Ms. Hynes served on the Arlington School Board for 12 years, including three times as chair. She and her husband Patrick have resided in Arlington for more than 35 years and are the parents of five Arlington Public School graduates. Ms. Hynes graduated from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, which honored her in 2007 as a distinguished alumna.