Civic News
Municipal government / Startups

DC just named new leaders for tech and economic development

Nina Albert replaces the interim deputy mayor for planning and economic development following John Falcicchio’s resignation, while Christopher Rodriguez is the new acting CTO.

The John A. Wilson Building, where the Council of the District of Columbia meets. (Flickr/Wally Gobetz)

Following the rapid departure of John Falcicchio in March, Mayor Muriel Bowser made new appointments in DC’s tech- and startup-related staff.

Nina Albert and Christopher Rodriguez were named acting deputy mayor for planning and economic development (DMPED) and acting chief technology officer (CTO), respectively, on Friday. Keith Anderson, the interim DMPED named in March, was appointed to the role of deputy mayor for operations and infrastructure. Falcicchio left this post following multiple sexual harassment claims confirmed via internal investigations from the district.

The district government did not immediately respond to a request for an interview or comment.

According to an announcement, Albert most recently served as the commissioner for the public building service at the U.S. General Services Administration, a role appointed by President Joe Biden’s administration. There, she managed about 370 million square feet of government-owned and -leased space. She was also the VP of real estate and parking for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. This isn’t her first stint at DMPED, either, as she was a project manager in the office from 2006 to 2010, overseeing the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative.

Rodriguez was dually appointed, taking on the roles of acting CTO and assistant city administrator. He replaces Lindsey Parker, who held both roles before being promoted to chief of staff to Mayor Bowser in March 2023 (Falcicchio previously held this position, as well).

Rodriguez came to this appointment from the position of director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency for DC. The aforementioned announcement said he was the incident commander for DC’s COVID-19 response, which included procuring supplies and hiring and training response teams. He was also the director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness for New Jersey and an intelligence analyst for the CIA — both roles that required cyber risk management.

Falcicchio left his post after a DC employee reported serious allegations of sexual harassment from him and a culture of retaliation. The district substantiated harassment of this employee in June, and confirmed reports from a second staffer in July. DMPED is responsible for many programs that support startup founders and small businesses, such as the Inclusive Innovation Equity Impact Fund for entrepreneurs and the Small Business Bond program.

Companies: District of Columbia

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