Meet Our Staff
Our dedicated, nimble team at the National Landing BID organizes more than 300 events each year, while continuously pursuing economic development, placemaking, and marketing initiatives. We look forward to partnering and collaborating with you to make Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard-Arlington a more beautiful, welcoming, enjoyable, equitable, and sustainable place.
Tracy Sayegh Gabriel
Tracy Sayegh Gabriel is an urbanist, planner and placemaker, committed to addressing complex urban challenges and building great neighborhoods. Tracy has served as President and Executive Director of the National Landing Business Improvement District since 2018, working to enhance the vibrancy of Virginia’s largest walkable downtown. She led the expansion of the BID in 2019 to include interconnected portions of Pentagon City and Potomac Yard-Arlington, unifying the commercial core and representing an over 70% increase in the BID’s service district. Recognized for her role in achieving this accomplishment, Tracy was named to the Washington Business Journal's Power 100 Class of 2019, deeming her one of the most influential businesspeople in the DC region.Tracy is directing the BID’s work to help support and steward the transformation that National Landing, comprised of the Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard neighborhoods, will experience in the coming years as longstanding plans for the area are implemented through a resurgence of public and private investment. She also currently serves on the board of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Synetic Theater.
Tracy was Associate Director at the DC Office of Planning, where she led a design-forward, equity-driven neighborhood planning practice and directed Anacostia Waterfront revitalization efforts. She is former Vice President at the NYC Economic Development Corporation overseeing the Queens portfolio of neighborhood-wide initiatives and high-profile, large-scale public projects. She has also been a consultant on various real estate and downtown projects. Tracy received her undergraduate degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University, her Master's in City Planning from MIT, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Damascus, Syria. A native New Yorker, Tracy lives in Washington, D.C., and is excited to make the National Landing area a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable place.
Deputy Executive Director
Since 2007, Rob has played a leading role in the successful transformation of the National Landing area into a vibrant downtown community that is attracting residents, new businesses, and a wave of new investment by the private sector. His background in urban planning and economics combined with his passion for placemaking and collaboratively building communities for people, not just buildings, drives his perspective and vision. Rob’s work envisioning and championing a new pedestrian connection to Washington National Airport, the CC2DCA Intermodal Connector, helped propel a unique, differentiating idea into an important infrastructure investment included in the Commonwealth’s winning Amazon proposal. Additionally, Rob’s framing of the Greater Crystal City area as a downtown of scale and substance as the largest, walkable downtown in Virginia helped propel the BID’s efforts to extend its boundaries to Pentagon City and Potomac Yard.
Outside of National Landing, Rob has a track-record for active and engaged community involvement with a vision for community action that embraces creativity, efficiency, and partnership building in order to proactively make change, not just advocate for it. Rob has founded a downtown Civic Association in Norfolk, launched a farmers market in the Petworth neighborhood of DC, and served a term as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner where he championed new bicycle infrastructure and traffic calming measures, supported community organizations, and advocated for economic development efforts along Georgia Avenue. Rob is also currently serving as Assistant Cubmaster for Scouts BSA Pack 98 providing leadership and management that supports a team of volunteers providing programming to over 100 youth.
Rob earned a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Tech’s regional campus in Old Town Alexandria. Rob is also a graduate of Bowdoin College of Brunswick, Maine having earned a degree in Economics and Environmental Studies. Rob resides with his family in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC.
Vice President, Planning & Development
Malaika Abernathy Scriven has served as the Chief of Staff of the DC Office of Planning (OP) since November 2018. In this role, she supported the 76-person agency, under Director Andrew Trueblood, to spearhead several important priorities of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, including updating the DC Comprehensive Plan and equitably producing 36,000 new housing units, including 12,000 affordable units by 2025. She has fostered strategic partnerships with District agency partners and community stakeholders in implementing the work of the agency. During the unprecedented global pandemic, Malaika lead the agency to safely modify its operations to a situational telework posture. She also collaborated with staff to formulate a multi-disciplinary new workplan that supports a renewed focus on neighborhood vibrancy, public space activation, housing production, racial equity, and economic recovery.
Prior to this role at OP, she served on the Walter Reed team, at the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) where she helped lead the Local Redevelopment Authority’s (LRA) plan and implement a community-responsive, market-driven and economically feasible land use plan for 66 acres of the site currently known as The Parks of Walter Reed. The development plan anticipated 3.1 million square feet of mixed-use development, including over 5,000 jobs, 2,100 housing units (including 432 affordable at varying levels of affordability) and approximately $1 billion in tax generated revenue over 30 years. Subsequently, she was devoted to managing several small area planning projects at OP, including, the 2013 Council-Approved, Walter Reed Army Medical Center Small Area Plan, which established a land use and zoning framework for the anticipated development program. In a rare and unique opportunity, she played a pivotal role to establish a local small area plan for the site that was subsequently implemented in partnership with development team and the District.
Prior to working at DMPED, she served in a variety of roles at OP, including spearheading special, place- based projects within emerging neighborhoods thereby showcasing, small, but impactful creative placemaking interventions. Her most memorable experience in this role was during the development of the Central 14th street NW Small Area Planning process, where she led an interactive series of creative placemaking interventions along the corridor that showcased the communities desires for a pedestrian- centered, vibrant and neighborhood retail-rich destination.
Malaika holds an undergraduate degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in Community Planning, and a post graduate degree in Urban Management from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Rotterdam, Netherlands. She lives in Prince George’s County with her husband and daughter. During their spare time, she enjoys exploring the expansive park system in the County.
Director of Communications and Marketing
Ben Wills is a public relations leader, with more than a decade of experience working in economic and community development, placemaking, and architecture. He’s a design enthusiast, passionate about sustainability, who uses creative storytelling strategies to advance brands and influence progress.
Ben joins the National Landing BID team from The American Institute of Architects, where he was head of social media and a strategic public relations and communications advisor for the international association. Previously, Ben served as head of communications and marketing for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, Editor-in-Chief of Chamber Executive magazine, and head of communications, marketing, events, and partnerships for the award-winning Southwest Indiana Chamber in Evansville.
Ben is an Indianapolis native and graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, where he earned a degree in public relations. An advocate for inclusive communities, Ben has served on the boards of directors for the Girl Scouts, Evansville Museum, and young professional groups. He lives with his partner in Washington, DC, and enjoys commuting to National Landing by Metro and experiencing other places through travel whenever possible.
Mai joined the BID part-time in May 2019, initially as part of the events team. She resides in Crystal City herself and is excited with the changes happening in the neighborhood, which is the reason she became involved with the BID. Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, Mai moved to the U.S in 2004 where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Previously, Mai interned at the World Bank as an architect's assistant; worked at a boutique design firm and as a Design Coordinator; and consulted at Ethan Allen.
As a lover of languages and dance, she became interested in Latin music, which made her fall in love with Zumba. She has been teaching Zumba since 2010, which helped her learn the Spanish language. Mai is also fluent in Arabic, her native tongue.
Planning and Innovation Associate
Alexander is the National Landing BID's Planning and Innovation Associate and will be responsible for collaborating on economic development and smart city initiatives. Alexander also manages activities related to economic competitiveness, strategic planning, urban analytics, and research.
Before coming to National Landing, Alexander led economic development research and market analysis work at the DowntownDC BID and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP). He provided data analytics support to several major initiatives, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and providing direct financial relief to local small businesses.
Alexander received his undergraduate degree in History and Liberal Studies from Georgia College & State University and a Master's in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He currently lives in Washington, DC's Logan Circle neighborhood. Alexander is actively training in Brazilian Jiu Jistu and Judo.
Roquois has been in the events, entertainment and marketing industry for over 15 years beginning her professional journey in Orlando, FL while attending Full Sail University. With the passion and goal to bring communities together, Roquois loves working with local creatives and organizations curating events and activations. Involved in many programming boards such as, The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Citrus Club, Roquois has produced large-scale events and her work has been featured in various media outlets. In 2015 Roquois returned to the DC area and jumped right into the scene curating fashion experiences for the DC, MD, and VA areas while utilizing her technical talents in art, design and digital marketing. Roquois is no stranger to the BID world having spent time over the last 6 years with both the Adams Morgan BID and the DowntownDC BID where she honed her craft in digital strategy, as well as event execution and design. Roquois is excited to now use her talents and skills in the events and tech industry serving National Landing as the new Events Manager.
Community Engagement and Communications Specialist
Luke Fichter comes to the BID from the Washington Nationals where he spent the last four years managing their community relations efforts. During his time with the Nationals, Luke led the team’s youth baseball outreach and programming where he developed his marketing and planning skills, collaborated with the business sector and community stakeholders, and represented the organization to various publics, including the DC BIDs. He witnessed firsthand the progression of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood while working in Navy Yard.
With National Landing, Luke serves as a community liaison responsible for engagement efforts and relationship building across the BID district, including with small business owners and commercial tenants. Luke is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where he studied geography and public and urban affairs. Outside of National Landing, he enjoys traveling, recreational sports, and holds a private pilot's license. He is a lifelong Arlingtonian.
Planning & Transportation Manager
Matt Jones is an urban planner, storyteller, and transit advocate who strives to connect people of all abilities to sustainable transportation. While he was born and raised in Washington, DC, Matt is passionate about people-first mobility throughout the region, and has led several projects around the region including: Montgomery County, MD's bus rapid transit project; Washington Union Station's expansion project; City of Boulder, CO's bike, pedestrian, and vision zero efforts; Baltimore City's BaltimoreLink project; and the District Department of Transportation's goDCgo initiative to encourage Washington, DC's 22 million annual visitors to use sustainable transportation.
Matt received his undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a Master's in Community Planning from the University of Maryland (UMD). In 2020, he was named to the Association for Commuter Transportation's TDM 40 under 40 list. He serves on the Board of Governors of the University of Maryland and President of UMD's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Alumni Network. When he's not cheering on the Terps, you can find him giving walking tours of Washington Union Station or at one of the many art galleries in the DMV.
Public Realm Coordinator
Alex Michael is the NL BID's Public Realm Coordinator, and is responsible for leading initiatives to create a more attractive, active and sustainable place for us all in NL. Alex comes to the BID from the City of Takoma Park, MD where he worked on a wide variety of public space and public transportation projects through an equity-focused lens. He has a robust history of experience with GIS, as well as researching, collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data. He is a geographer, urban planner, and public space enthusiast who is deeply engaged in issues of equity, social mobility, racial justice, and inclusion, especially as it relates to smart growth practices, public space, public transportation and climate change resilience.
Alex was born and raised in Dayton, OH, but found his love for cities when studying abroad in Edinburgh. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geography from Ohio University and a Master’s degree in Geography from George Washington University where he also obtained a Professional Certificate in GIS. Alex recently received a certificate from the National Charrette Institute at Michigan State University and frequently completes courses on Planetizen.
Brand Marketing Manager
Colleen Rasa is an experienced digital strategist, passionate about building creative marketing campaigns that drive business outcomes and grow communities.
Throughout her career, Colleen has worked in the media, nonprofit, and quasi government sectors where she managed social media channels, produced online events, created brand videos, and organized large-scale training programs for the federal government.
Passionate about creating meaningful experiences, Colleen has served the past five years as a Committee Member for Best Buddies helping to plan, fundraise, and execute a yearly prom for the Virginia and DC chapters. Colleen is a graduate from Miami University in Oxford, OH and currently resides in Alexandria, VA.