Meet Ella Faulkner, the BID’s Vice President of Planning and Economic Development


The DowntownDC BID is pleased to welcome Ella Faulkner to the team as Vice President of Planning and Economic Development, a new position for the organization. Ella comes to the BID after more than a dozen years of work in planning and design at the District’s Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), most recently serving as its Deputy Director of Administrative Services.

In that time, Ella managed more than $1.5 billion in capital funds, led the planning and design and project management of hundreds of DPR projects, and improved the quality of life for District residents through strategic redevelopments of parks and recreation facilities citywide. Her efforts have helped the city’s park system achieve recognition as the best in the nation by the Trust for Public Land in 2019, 2021, and 2022.

As the BID’S Vice President of Planning and Economic Development, Ella will lead a team of staff to improve, activate, and reimagine the public realm throughout downtown, including 24 acres of parks and plazas, sidewalks, streets, alleys, gateways, and other open spaces.

“DowntownDC’s renaissance is on the horizon. Our downtown will become the beating heart of the District’s economy,” she says. “I am hyper-focused on developing a thoughtful and collective vision to create a more vibrant, resilient, livable, and adaptable city, one that is centered around people.”

Ella plans to work to transform the experience of downtown into a place where everyone feels welcome, both residents from across the city, as well as regional, national, and international visitors. “We can’t do this alone,” she notes. “We need the big thinkers, the innovators, the strategic investors, the business community, and our local and federal agency partners to come together at the same table with an enthused commitment to reimagine DowntownDC.”

Ella is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, an accomplished watercolor artist, and an avid traveler. She is also a U.S. Delegate representing the District in North Africa, where she has collaborated with heads of government in Morocco. Ella is an active member of the American Planning Association, the Association of American Geographers, and the National Recreation and Park Association, and is an executive leader through the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.