Director of Strategic Communications
Jennifer K. Smith is the current director of strategic communications for Arlington County. She oversees the public website content, digital communications, and media relations efforts
Previously, Jennifer served as director of public engagement, focused making it easier and more convenient for constituents to connect with the Arlington government. In that role she focused on applying best practices and fostering collaboration and innovation. Jennifer also was involved with the developing the County’s first Public Engagement Guide for Capital Projects, working with the community and internal stakeholders.
Jennifer has championed numerous engagement tools and channels to connect with Arlington constituents – including the County’s social media program; various survey and polling tools; the launch of the County’s Service Request/Report-a-Problem tool and mobile app; and the Engage Arlington site. She is a graduate of the County’s civic engagement program for staff, as well as a 2009 graduate of the community-based Leadership Arlington program.
An Arlington resident since 1989, Jennifer has worked for Arlington County since 2003. She has also led the County’s enterprise digital and video communication units, including Arlington TV. Jennifer also led the overhaul of the County website to become more topically focused, the launch of an improved e-subscription service, and the shift to more online video. She also served as The Citizen newsletter editor multiple years.
In her early days with the County, she developed the County’s first-ever employee communications program, including popular live online chats. Jennifer has also managed multiple resident satisfaction surveys, working with external consultants. She helps support the County’s emergency and crisis communications efforts as well.
Prior to joining Arlington County Government, Jennifer was the director of communications for AOL’s Customer Service Division, headquartered near Dulles Airport. She oversaw communications for the 8,000-person division with employees in call centers around the U.S. and overseas. She also worked with teams to help handle critical situations such as Y2K, Sept. 11 and company mergers. Before AOL, Jennifer had nearly 10 years of experience working for associations in the security management and former military sectors. Her work for these organizations including communications, budget management, project management and strategic planning and communications.
Jennifer has an undergraduate degree from James Madison University, and has completed graduate coursework at University of Maryland. She grew up in Blacksburg, Virginia. Jennifer has lived in locations all around Arlington and now resides in the Arlington-East Falls Church neighborhood with her husband and two children who are in the Arlington Public School system.