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Coordinates: 38°54′04″N 77°15′56″W / 38.90111°N 77.26556°W / 38.90111; -77.26556 The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) is an independent authority in Fairfax County, Virginia, created under Virginia state law in 1964 and funded by Fairfax County government.[1] The FCEDA exists to promote investment and business growth in Fairfax County in order to expand the commercial tax base. The FCEDA does this by managing marketing programs that encourage businesses to expand or relocate to the county. It is the largest non-state economic development authority in the nation.[2] In its 50 years, the FCEDA has worked with 3,200 companies that added more than 220,000 jobs and leased more than 70 million square feet of office space in Fairfax County.[3]

In addition to its marketing programs, the FCEDA provides assistance to existing and new Fairfax County businesses by locating office space, providing market information, linking entrepreneurs with potential investors, and providing liaison services between businesses and Fairfax County regulatory agencies.

The FCEDA also offers monthly workshops for entrepreneurs interested in starting or expanding a business in Fairfax County. Other programs target foreign-owned and small, minority- and woman-owned businesses.

The FCEDA’s headquarters are in the Tysons Corner area of Fairfax County, with satellite offices located in Los Angeles, Boston, Bangalore, Munich, London, Seoul and Tel Aviv.[4]

Early history[edit]

An advertisement for Fairfax County which ran in The Wall Street Journal.

In 1956 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors formed an advisory group on economic development called the Industrial Development Commission. This group existed until 1964 when the Virginia General Assembly acted to create the Fairfax County Industrial Development Authority. The legislature changed the name to the Economic Development Authority in 1973.[5] Acting on concerns about population increases and funding of county services, the Board of Supervisors in the late 1970s tasked the FCEDA with its mission to create a business retention and attraction campaign that formed the basis of the EDA’s current programs and purpose.

In his book "Internet Alley: High Technology in Tysons Corner, 1945-2005," (The MIT Press, 2008), Paul E. Ceruzzi summarizes two critical events in the history of Fairfax County economic development: the production of the "Noman Cole Report" and the first salvo in what would become an international advertising strategy executed by the Economic Development Authority.

Ceruzzi explains that in 1976 the newly elected chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Jack Herrity, commissioned a Blue Ribbon Panel for the purpose of examining the county’s existing ordinances and policies related to industrial development and growth. The panel, named for its chairman, Noman Cole, produced a report entitled the "Committee to Study the Means of Encouraging Industrial Development in Fairfax County."

The Board of Supervisors charged the Economic Development Authority with developing a business attraction and retention program. Earle Williams, one of the contributors to the report, joined the FCEDA Commission around this time and argued for a large increase in the authority’s marketing budget. As part of the marketing strategy, the authority bought a two-page ad in The Wall Street Journal, the cost of which was beyond anything that group had ever done, as Ceruzzi notes,.[6] These early forays into advertising were preludes to what would become a robust global advertising effort that would establish Fairfax County as a "brand" unto itself.

The combined impact of pro-growth policies and the attraction and retention campaign (led by the FCEDA advertising program) would prompt Time magazine columnist Justin Fox in 2007 to call Fairfax County "one of the great economic success stories of our time".[7]

Recent history[edit]

In 2005 Site Selection Magazine named the FCEDA to its list of top economic development groups for the EDA's successful efforts to expand the number of defense contractors and research organizations in the county.[8]

The FCEDA hosted the first National Conference on the Creative Economy,[9] in Tysons Corner, Virginia in October 2007. The conference program included keynote addresses from Richard Florida, Thomas Friedman and Alvin Toffler.

In 2008 the Washington, D.C.-based International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest professional association of economic development practitioners in the world,[10] recognized FCEDA with its 2008 Excellence in Economic Development Award for the FCEDA-produced “Power of Ideas” advertising campaign.[11] The FCEDA received honorable mentions in two other IEDC awards categories in 2008: "Technology-Based Economic Development Program" category for localities with more than 200,000 residents and the "Special Event" category for localities with more than 200,000 residents, for the 2007 National Conference on the Creative Economy.[11]

Dr. Gerald Gordon (center), CEO of the FCEDA receiving the 2008 Excellence in Economic Development Award from Robin Roberts Krieger (left), Chair of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Board of Directors and Todd Greene, Chair of the Awards Task Force

In February, 2009 Hilton Hotels announced it would move its corporate headquarters from Beverly Hills to Fairfax County, Virginia. The Washington Post reported that Hilton Hotels "surprised the local hotel community...by announcing it was moving to the Washington region from Beverly Hills, [choosing] Fairfax after looking closely at a spot in Montgomery County near Marriott International."[12] Hilton Hotels corporate headquarters are located in Tysons Corner.

On June 18, 2009, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) hosted “The New Urban Economic Model: The Transformation of Fairfax County" conference[13] to examine growth in the county, MarketWatch reports. The conference was held at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in Fairfax County. As noted by Reuters keynote speakers included:

  • Urban Land Institute Senior Resident Fellow (and former Indianapolis Mayor) William Hudnut III
  • Brookings Institution urban policy scholar Anthony Downs
  • Matthew T. Crosson,[14] president of the Long Island Association, Inc., the Long Island region's principal business and civic organization

The event's Web site is at: http://www.transformingfairfax.org

In April 2010, FCEDA launched a new advertising campaign designed to promote the county’s rich quality of life.

The 30-second TV commercial, called “Statistics,” uses brightly animated statistical information on the county – presented through pie charts and other familiar visuals from business presentations – and morphs those shapes into real-life representations of various quality-of-life elements of Fairfax County. The yellow bar of a bar graph becomes a woman’s clutch, for example, and the blue wedge of a pie chart is transformed into a slice of pizza. The ad is posted at the FCEDA's video gallery. The TV commercial is the first produced by the FCEDA in a decade. It uses locations at George Mason University and a private home in the Fairfax County community of McLean. The spot, produced by Siddall of Richmond, Va., will run through the end of June on cable outlets in four markets – Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. – primarily on news and business channels. The “Statistics” campaign also includes print, online and mobile advertising.

The ad can also be viewed on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHL1hfslUVQ

In July 2010, Northrop Grumman announced that it would relocate its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to a site in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County.[15]

In August 2010, the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC, [2]) announced that Fairfax County won a 2010 Community Economic Development Award in recognition of its success in business attraction.[16]

In December 2010, FCEDA Gordon was named 2010 Virginia Business Person of the Year by Virginia Business magazine, which cited his role in helping attract major business headquarters to Fairfax, County as a key factor in their decision.[17] Also in December, the FCEDA was cited as the top economic development project in the state when the Virginia Chamber of Commerce awarded the authority its Virginia Torchbearer award.[18]

In November 2011, Bechtel, one of the world's largest engineering, construction and projects management companies, announced that it would relocate its Global Operations headquarters to the Reston area of Fairfax County, creating 625 new jobs.[19]

In February 2012, national commercial real estate firm Transwestern honored Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D, president and CEO of the FCEDA as the recipient of the “Trendsetter of the Year” award at the 15th annual Washington, D.C. TrendLines event. Transwestern cited Gordon’s “tireless advocacy and steadfast leadership” in promoting Fairfax County as a business location since joining the FCEDA in 1983.[20]

On July 26, 2014, the Silver Line, the first new Washington Metro rail line since 1991, opened in Tysons Corner, an event the FCEDA's Gordon said will help transform the area in to a "world-class city."[21] The first phase of the Silver Line also includes a stop in the Fairfax County community of Reston.


The FCEDA operates under the direction of seven commissioners, who are local business people appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The commissioners govern and oversee the FCEDA’s policies and programs. Commissioners serve for four-year terms and hire the FCEDA president, who since 1987 has been Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D.

Gordon is the author of 12 books, his most recent is _The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America_, published by CRC Press(2013). The book is part of CRC's American Society for Public Administration series designed to increase national and international interest for topics in public administration. The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America draws on Dr. Gordon's 30 years of experience as president of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, and his involvement in assisting communities around the world.

Research and Conferences[edit]

According to the FCEDA website, the authority conducts research and stages conferences under the moniker Work/Life to “better understand broad workplace trends that impact businesses in Fairfax County and across the country.”[22]

In September 2007, FCEDA commissioned Ipsos, an independent research firm, to undertake a national poll on creativity in the workplace. The poll found that that, while an overwhelming majority of American workers believe they are instinctively creative, fewer than two in three think they are tapping their creative capacities on the job. The results of the national survey were reported on by such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor and Washington Post. The poll results were published in advance of the 2007 National Conference on the Creative Economy, a conference presented by the FCEDA.

In October 2008, the FCEDA commissioned a new survey through Ipsos that examined American workers' opinions of technology in the workplace. The survey found that an overwhelming majority of U.S. workers place a high value on technology in the workplace, so much so that almost 40 percent of employees across the labor force would consider changing jobs to work for an organization that is more committed to providing access to and training in the latest technology. Results of the survey were covered by the Associated Press, the Washington Post and the Fox Business Network.

In May 2009, the FCEDA partnered with Ipsos once again. This time, FCEDA chose to examine issues facing communities that, like Fairfax County, after a long period of suburbanization and increased density, are in transition to a more urban environment. The survey revealed that "living or working in the suburbs might not be all that it’s cracked up to be." Of the one in three (32%) Americans who reportedly live in a suburban environment, a majority (51%) wishes their community had more of a wide variety of offerings. The results of survey were released ahead of the FCEDA conference: “The New Urban Economic Model: The Transformation of Fairfax County" and was picked up by the Washington Business Journal, WTOP and WMAL radio. The conference featured keynote addresses by Urban Land Institute Senior Resident Fellow (and former Indianapolis mayor) William Hudnut and Brookings Institution urban policy scholar Anthony Downs.

In Sept. 2012, the FCEDA presented a symposium titled America’s Aging Workforce, which featured talks from industry and government leaders from the Washington, D.C., area and beyond on a variety of topics related to issues and opportunities presented by demographic shifts in the U.S. workforce.[23] According to FCEDA CEO Gerald Gordon, the number of workers 65 and over will increase 75 percent to 70 million in the next 18 years.[24]

Also presented at the conference were results from a survey looking at how younger and older workers view those demographic shifts.[25] Despite the changing demographics, the research found that different generations value each other's contributions, according to Forbes.[26] Presenters at the conference included John Berry, director of the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM); John W. Martin, president and CEO of the Southeaster Institute of Research (SIR), co-founder of the Boomer Project and author of Boomer Consumer;[27] Danny Felty, M.D., a healthy-aging expert at HCA Virginia Health System and executives from Fairfax County companies Capital One, Volkswagen Group of America and Balfour Beatty.


  1. ^ Fairfax County Government Website
  3. ^ "Guess which Fairfax cheerleader just turned 50". Washington Business Journal. 
  4. ^ Fairfax County Economic Development Authority home page
  5. ^ Fairfax County Economic Development Authority http://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org/about-fceda. Retrieved 18 August 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ High Technology in Tysons Corner, 1945-2005, pp.118-120
  7. ^ Fox, Justin (February 8, 2008). "The Federal Job Machine". Time Magazine. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ Site Selection Magazine article
  9. ^ National Conference on the Creative Economy website
  10. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions About IEDC". International Economic Development Council. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b IEDC Winners PDF
  12. ^ Washington Post article about Hilton Hotels, reported by Michael S. Rosenwald and Ann E. Marimow
  13. ^ a conference
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Censer, Marjorie; O'Connell, Jonathan (July 13, 2010). "Northrop picks headquarters building in Fairfax County". The Washington Post. 
  16. ^ http://sedc.affiniscape.com/associations/10243/files/CEDA%20Winners%20for%20Web%20site.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/index.php/news/article/the-ace-pitcher/308926/
  18. ^ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/index.php/news/article/fairfax-county-economic-development-authority-wins-state-award/309051/
  19. ^ Neibauer, Michael (November 7, 2011). "Bechtel moving 625 jobs to Fairfax County". 
  20. ^ http://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org/pressrelease/fairfax-county-eda-president-and-ceo-honored-%E2%80%9C2012-trendsetter%E2%80%9D-commercial-real-estate
  21. ^ "Silver Line opening will be a boon for Northern Virginia". Washington Times. 
  22. ^ http://fairfaxcountyeda.org/work-life-balance-research-conferences
  23. ^ http://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org/pressrelease/fairfax-county-eda-symposium-addresses-challenges-opportunities-posed-america%E2%80%99s-aging
  24. ^ http://www.timesdispatch.com/opinion/their-opinion/the-shift-is-on-lessons-from-america-s-quickly-aging/article_a844844b-5fcf-51a8-9e04-2fb8607cccc7.html
  25. ^ http://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org/pressrelease/workforce-ages-surprising-degree-generational-harmony-not-conflict-exists-workplace
  26. ^ Hannon, Kerry. Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryhannon/2012/12/23/how-to-fight-age-discrimination/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ http://www.boomerconsumer.com/

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairfax_County_Economic_Development_Authority — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
156 videos foundNext > 


Fairfax County's Economic Development Authority

An overview of Fairfax County's Economic Development Authority with Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the authority. Please note: Fairfax County is not responsible for the content...

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Cox Local Edition

April 6, 2009 - Jerry Gordon of the Faifax County Economic Development Authority joins Cox Local Edition to discuss the state of businesses in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia, and Hilton...

Cox Connections NOVA - Fairfax County Economic Development Authority

CXCT203.1 - The Economic Development Authority promotes Fairfax County as a world class location to do business. Dr. Gerald L. Gordon joins us to talk about what's ahead for Fairfax County,...

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Cox Local Edition

The Fairfax County EDA stops by Cox Local Edition to discuss the current economic situation and what we can do about it in our community. To learn more, visit www.FairfaxCountyEDA.org.

Welcome to Fairfax County

A Siddall Communications-produced video for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Discover why Fairfax County is a great location for your busin...

Fairfax County. The power of ideas.

The newest commercial from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). More information at www.PowerOfIdeas.org.

Fairfax County EDA June 09 Cox Local Edition

June 15, 2009 - Jerry Gordon of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority visits Cox Local Edition to talk about the economic climate here in Northern Virginia and what the EDA is doing...

CLE - Fairfax County EDA

November 1, 2010 - The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority joins Cox Local Edition to talk about what makes Fairfax County such a desirable location for businesses of all sizes. ...

Satish Naidu - Bangalore - 2014

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority - Bangalore, India office.

156 videos foundNext > 

184 news items

Washington Post
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 11:00:00 -0700

She has worked for, in no particular order, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (executive director), the state of Virginia (economic development director), NVR, a Toronto-based venture debt fund called MMV Financial, George Mason ...

Commercial Property Executive

Commercial Property Executive
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:59:02 -0700

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked together with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to secure the project for Virginia, and Gov. McAuliffe approved a $1 million grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist ...
Washington Post
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 05:00:00 -0700

I recently wrote a column noting a “certain defensiveness” in the economic development chatter around the region. That provoked this response taking issue with my assertions and a recent blog post by the folks at the Brookings Institution. Let me know ...


Tue, 14 Apr 2015 22:06:32 -0700

Great thanks, too, to our event host, Biogen, the Broad Institute for turning over its beautiful auditorium, our national partner Alexandria Real Estate Equities, and to the event sponsors: ALT, Cote Orphan, Fairfax County Economic Development ...


Mon, 13 Apr 2015 05:22:30 -0700

For the lively discussions, cool demos, and dense networking sessions, participants can thank our host and sponsor SRI International, fellow sponsors iRobot and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, plus other partners and underwriters: ...


Thu, 09 Apr 2015 21:07:30 -0700

Thanks also to our event hosts, Biogen and the Broad Institute; our event sponsors, American Laboratory Trading, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Cote Orphan, and Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo; and to Keith Spiro of ...
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:04:50 -0700

... then be the nation's largest enclosed mall, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law that, arguably, did more to propel the county's rising fortunes than any other factor: It created what is now called the Fairfax County Economic Development ...
Washington Post
Sun, 01 Feb 2015 11:48:39 -0800

The board voted in 2013 to keep the Department of Economic Development as a county agency rather than moving its functions to a new and independent agency modeled after Fairfax County's Economic Development Authority. The supervisors changed the ...

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