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Reston Association hires new director of communications, community engagement

O’Donnell will begin her first day on Sept. 25 (Photo via Reston Association).

The former director of communications and media relations for Arlington Economic Development (AED) is set to take over the communication’s department at Reston Association.

Cara O’Donnell — who spent the last 11 year managing communications for the AED — will begin her first day on Sept. 25. She replaces Mike Leone, who left his position earlier this year.

“I have spent the majority of my career sharing the stories of communities, and I look forward to now bringing that expertise to Reston and engaging with the community,” wrote O’Donnell in a statement. “This is a wonderful opportunity to support and serve the area I call home, and I am excited and humbled to join the RA team.”

O’Donnell is a Reston resident. She led media campaigns related to Arlington’s recruitment of Amazon HQ2 and “secured national and international media placements focusing on Arlington both as a center for business attraction and as a tourism destination,” according to RA.

She previously worked in state government, destination marketing and higher education communications in Pennsylvania. She also worked as a local television news reporter.

She can also been seen “periodically” onstage with Reston Community Players, according to RA.

“Her background and experience in community building and reaching the membership will be felt as soon as she steps into her role in September. Her work with Arlington County in communications will greatly aid RA as we advance many strategic initiatives in the coming months,” RA’s CEO Mac Cummins said.