Focus on Cities

Online, April 13, 2021


Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 10:00–11:30 a.m. EST

As political and social trends continue to evolve through and beyond the pandemic, how have US cities changed—and what opportunities do they have for economic agency and value creation in the post-pandemic era?

Is the COVID-related urban exodus real and lasting, or temporary and immaterial? What does the moving line between urban and suburban mean for investment and development decisions in central business districts? And are central business districts going to be a thing of the past?

This AFIRE Virtual Event welcomes city and county economic development leaders from US cities to discuss the challenges and the long-term futures of the US metro, and the role institutional investors have to play in following or leading opportunities and value creation in US cities?

This event is open to all members and invited guests.


Brian P. Golden is the Director of the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). He oversees all aspects of the organization and focuses on executing its core mission of responsible, community-engaged planning, and economic development. An attorney since 1993, Brian is a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston. He was also the New England Regional Director at the US Department of Health and Human Services, a Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, and a member of the Board of Directors at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. Brian has served as a US Army officer, active duty and reserve, for more than twenty years. His military experience includes duty in Bosnia, Iraq, and Israel/West Bank.

Brian is a graduate of the Boston Latin School and Harvard College. He received a Master’s degree from the US Army War College and a law degree from the College of William and Mary’s School of Law.

John Falcicchio serves as the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for Washington, DC. Mr. Falcicchio has also served as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff since the start of her Administration after volunteering as a campaign advisor and director of Mayor-elect Bowser’s transition. Mr. Falcicchio previously served as a Senior Vice President of DKC, a New York based public relations firm; as a Regional Political Director for the Democratic National Committee during the re-election of President Obama; and as a long-time aide to former Mayor Adrian Fenty.

As Deputy Mayor, Mr. Falcicchio oversees the District’s portfolio of real estate development projects that drive economic development in communities and deliver affordable housing, jobs and amenities to residents. Those projects include the transformative developments at the St. Elizabeth’s East Campus, the Parks at Walter Reed and Hill East as well as dozens of other projects across all eight Wards.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian is the Deputy Mayor of International Affairs for the City of Los Angeles. From 2014 to 2017, she served in the Obama administration as US Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Previously, from 2007 to 2014, Ambassador Hachigian was a senior vice president and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), with a focus on U.S.-China relations and Asia policy. Prior to CAP, she was a senior political scientist at RAND Corporation, serving as the director of RAND’s Center for Asia Pacific Policy. From 1998 to 1999, she served as a special assistant on President Clinton’s National Security Council. She is a board member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a founder of Women Ambassadors Serving America.

Kevin is the chairman of Tampa Downtown Partnership and Head of Tampa Preparatory School in July 2007. Kevin’s roots go deeply into the Tampa community where he has served on the Executive Steering Committee of the Friends of the Riverwalk.  He currently serves on the Executive Advisory Council for MUMA College of Business at USF,  Chairman of the Tampa Downtown Partnership, Moffitt Hospital Board of Directors, the Creative Tampa Bay Board, has been a trustee for the George Steinbrenner Boys and Girls Club. Kevin also proudly serves as Vice President of the Florida Council of Independent Schools, is a member of Bay Area Association of Independent Schools, and served as President of B.A.A.I.S. (2009-2010). He is a 1989 graduate of Colby College where he was named a Lacrosse All-American. Kevin was awarded the highly competitive and prestigious Klingenstein Fellowship at the Teachers College of Columbia University where he received a Master of Education Administration in 1999. Kevin and Jennifer have a daughter, Galen Grace.

Samir Mayekar brings the team significant experience from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Samir previously served in the Obama administration in the White House and at a federal infrastructure finance agency. As co-founder and CEO of NanoGraf Corporation, Samir built a green energy company that continues to grow in Bronzeville. Fluent in Spanish, Samir has deep neighborhood roots in Chicago, having served as board chair for a community-engaged youth theater in Albany Park and a GRAMMY-winning music ensemble serving the Back of the Yards. He holds a BA and an MBA from Northwestern University where he serves as a trustee.

Victor Hoskins joined the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) as President and CEO in August 2019. Since his arrival, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have all announced locations in Fairfax County. In his first year, he and the FCEDA team easily exceeded office space leasing and job creation goals, and generated more earned media than ever, in spite of coronavirus-related limitations on business activity. Mr. Hoskins and his team launched a groundbreaking talent initiative to help companies attract the workforce they need to succeed in Northern Virginia. In its first two months, this initiative involved more than 30 companies and 35 institutions of higher learning, including seven historically black colleges and universities, 7,000 job opportunities and 1,700 applicants.

In addition, Mr. Hoskins spearheaded creation of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA) that includes 10 jurisdictions. NOVA EDA launched a COVID-19 response that is guiding thousands of businesses through loan and grant programs throughout the region. In Fairfax alone, there has been assistance provided to 5,000 businesses from March to July 2020.

Previously, Mr. Hoskins was director of Arlington (Va.) Economic Development. In that role, he led the team that successfully attracted Amazon HQ2 to Arlington County, a deal that will bring between 25,000 and 37,850 technology and corporate headquarters jobs with an average salary of $150,000 to Arlington, stimulate creation of another 75,000 jobs in the Washington region, create innovation campuses in Arlington and Alexandria, and generate up to $4.8 billion in revenue for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

While in Arlington County, Mr. Hoskins also successfully implemented an Innovation Strategy that moved the economy toward technology and private-sector commercialization. In 4½ years, he and his team created or retained almost 82,500 jobs from 251 companies including Nestlé, Grant Thornton, Lidl, MasterCard, Deloitte, PBS and Opower-Oracle.

He previously worked in private real estate investment on Wall Street. Additionally, he served as Deputy Mayor of economic development for the District of Columbia and led the turnaround of the District’s economy with projects such as The Wharf and City Center. His career work has resulted in almost 390,000 jobs, and he has led teams that negotiated more than 750 major business deals involving $30 billion in investment.

Watch this page for updates!


Designed as part of AFIRE’s membership program, AFIRE Virtual Events provide a recurring digital format for AFIRE members to stay connected beyond in-person meetings.

AFIRE Virtual Events are recorded and made available for members only.


Asmait Tewelde, Meeting Director 202 312 1404

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