Chair, Arlington County Board
Jay Fisette was first elected to the Arlington County Board in 1998, serving as the Board’s chair in 2001, 2005, 2010, 2014 and 2017. Chair Fisette believes deeply in Arlington’s tradition of policy-based good government, rooted in strong civic engagement and sound fiscal management. As a former Government Accountability Office auditor, he has long been a proponent of fiscal discipline and accountability in balancing responsible tax policies with needed public investments. Mr. Fisette is also passionate that Arlington remain an inclusive and welcoming community, believing that our differences are a source of Arlington’s strength and resilience.
In 2017, Mr. Fisette is focusing on: (1) school and facility siting needs; (2) economic competitiveness; (3) housing affordability; (4) environmental sustainability; (5) ensuring the success of WMATA (Metro); and (6) staying true to our vision and values. Please see his January 3 speech here.
He is an avid environmentalist and an advocate for smart growth and New Urbanism principles. He values the importance of linking land use and transportation, providing robust transportation options, and designing inviting public spaces. His 2010 initiative led to the adoption of Arlington’s Community Energy Plan, designed to ensure Arlington’s sustainability and competitiveness for decades into the future. As Chair in 2001, he oversaw Arlington’s response to the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. He then served on the Regional Emergency Preparedness Council.
Mr. Fisette believes strongly in the value of regional collaboration to solve problems and advance progress. He chaired the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) in 2006. In 2007, he received COG’s highest honor – the Elizabeth and David Scull Public Service Award for leadership and dedication to regionalism.
Mr. Fisette has led or served on multiple regional bodies, primarily in the areas of the environment and transportation. As president of the Virginia Municipal League from 2007 to 2008, he created VML’s Go Green Virginia Initiative, which established an annual friendly competition among local governments across the Commonwealth to promote sustainability and reduce their carbon footprints. Building on its success, the Initiative expanded to include the Virginia Association of School Boards and the Virginia Association of Counties and continues today. Mr. Fisette also chaired the regional Air Quality Committee and the National Association of Counties’ Green Government Advisory Board and continues to chair and serve on COG’s Climate, Energy and Environment Policy Committee.
In transportation, he spent many years on the NVTC: The Voice of Transit in Northern Virginia, serving as its chair twice. Currently he is Vice Chair of the regional Transportation Planning Board and also serves on the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. In 2009, Mr. Fisette was recognized as the Public Official of the Year by the Virginia Transit Association.
Mr. Fisette works to advance pedestrian and bicycle activity and safety. He received an award for Visionary Leadership in Bicycle Transportation from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and was a major contributor to Capital BikeShare’s start and success in the Washington Metropolitan region.
Mr. Fisette is a strong advocate for affordable housing. He was appointed by both Governors Warner and Kaine to the Virginia Housing Development Authority, where he served as a Commissioner or Vice Chair from 2002 to 2010. He received the Housing Leader Award from the Virginia Housing Coalition for his efforts to preserve and increase the supply of safe, quality, affordable housing in Virginia.
Mr. Fisette is a member of the Ashton Heights Civic Association, the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Arlington, the Arlington Committee of 100, the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Equality Virginia, and Leadership Greater Washington.
Prior to serving the County Board, Mr. Fisette served as the director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic of Northern Virginia (1990-1998), as a staff consultant to the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee (1988-1989), and as an auditor with the GAO (1983-1988). He has a M.A. in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and received his B.A. in political science from Bucknell University. Mr. Fisette has been an Arlington resident since 1983. He and his husband, Bob Rosen, have been residents of the Ashton Heights neighborhood since 1987.