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Commissioner Roy O. Priest has more than 49 years of experience in the fields of housing finance and redevelopment and community economic development. Commissioner Priest previously served as the Executive Director and CEO of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) in Alexandria, Virginia. Under his leadership, ARHA completed the redevelopment of 621 units of mixed income housing that have generated $25 million of residential and commercial tax revenue, created a pipeline of 530 units planned for redevelopment, planned and implemented more than 20 community-based programs for residents, and improved the overall quality and condition of ARHA properties.

Prior to joining ARHA, Commissioner Priest served as the President and CEO of the National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED). As Chief Executive Officer of a national trade association representing more than 4,300 Community Development Corporations, he established innovative, effective strategies designed to foster growth and prosperity in America’s economically distressed communities.

Commissioner Priest also spent 17 years with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As the Director of Economic Development, he administered and managed HUD’s economic development programs including the Urban Development Action Grant, Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Communities, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Economic Development Initiative (EDI) Program.

Commissioner Priest began his career in Washington in 1967 at the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency (RLA) as the Project Director for a large urban renewal project responsible for the development of new and rehabilitated housing, retail space, and community service space. Over the following seven years, he held a myriad of senior management positions that involved the management of major program and policy responsibilities of the RLA.

A native Washingtonian and long-time Montgomery County resident, Mr. Priest received his Master of Public Administration from American University and his Master of City and Regional Planning from Catholic University of America.