Skip Navigation

Visit Alexandria President and CEO Patricia Washington Announces Retirement

Rebecca Doser, Director of Communications
[email protected] or 703-652-5363

Visit Alexandria President and CEO Patricia Washington Announces Retirement


Alexandria, VA – Visit Alexandria President and CEO Patricia Washington today announced her planned retirement, effective June 30, 2024, after more than a decade running the destination marketing organization for the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

“It’s been such a privilege to lead Visit Alexandria’s vision, culture and content-first marketing strategy for more than 11 years, and this feels like the right time for my retirement both organizationally and personally,” said Washington. “Visit Alexandria is in excellent shape, with a high-performing staff, strong partnerships, clear plans, stable finances and growing tourism revenues. On a personal level, I’m hoping to do some more extensive travel and have more time to pursue interests at a point in life where I have the passion and energy to fully explore them.”

Since beginning her role as president and CEO in 2012, Washington has led Visit Alexandria to achieve extraordinary milestones including record visitor spending, hotel occupancy, consumption tax revenues, press hits, website visitation, digital marketing impressions, group business, event attendance and membership. Her energetic spirit and forward-thinking leadership are the backbone of these achievements, while her collaborative mindset has strengthened and advanced city-wide partnerships that will shine a light on Alexandria’s diverse and inclusive community for years to come.

A highlight of Washington’s career has been collaborating with the City of Alexandria and the Office of Historic Alexandria to broaden the lens through which the city frames African American history through new visitor experiences and expanded marketing to diverse audiences. During her tenure, she spearheaded the “Drop In” campaign, an award-winning marketing campaign targeting Black travelers and the “Expand Your ALX” campaign highlighting the diverse cultures and global cuisine throughout Alexandria’s neighborhoods beyond Old Town.

As Alexandria continued to evolve as a destination over the years, Washington’s creative leadership approach progressed with it. She led two rebranding efforts and four brand campaigns, including an award-winning out-of-the-box marketing campaign called the “Best Kept Shh!” that emphasized another groundbreaking achievement of hers: the rising traction of Alexandria as a must-visit destination on a national media scale. Under her leadership, a newly developed national media relations strategy advanced Visit Alexandria’s rich and impactful storytelling, garnering groundbreaking top cities accolades across major publications including Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Southern Living and beyond.

Washington’s career at Visit Alexandria has been instrumental to revenue generation in the City of Alexandria with sales, meals and lodging tax receipts growing from $55 million to more than $80 million/year. Non-resident tax contributions now save the average Alexandria household more than $750/year in taxes.

As a dedicated advocate of the arts and philanthropy, Washington served on the Alexandria Arts Alliance board and Heard, a nonprofit which provides arts services to underserved children and adults, in addition to her leadership roles on the U.S. Travel Association’s Destination Advisory Council and the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership.

Earlier this week, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the framework of a deal with Monumental Sports & Entertainment to build a world-class Entertainment District in Alexandria’s Potomac Yard, anchored by an arena for the Washington Wizards and Capitals. Washington showed her support for the deal which would broaden the scope of Alexandria’s destination offerings. “This is a game-changing opportunity for the City of Alexandria and for Visit Alexandria’s next leader,” said Washington. “I will be working diligently over the next six months to lay the groundwork for the City to maximize the potential benefit and to ensure a smooth transition to my successor.”

The Visit Alexandria Board of Governors noted their deep appreciation for Washington’s leadership and impact on Alexandria. “Patricia raised the bar for all of us and with all of us,” said Visit Alexandria’s Board Chair and General Manager at Hotel Indigo Kate Ellis. “Her passion and positivity inspired us to reach higher and move Alexandria onto the national stage.”

The search for a new president and CEO is commencing. A search task force chaired by Visit Alexandria’s Vice Chair Denise Jackson has formed and engaged executive search firm, SearchWide Global, to help identify and recruit a new CEO with the vision, management and experience to maintain Visit Alexandria’s momentum and impact. A formal job posting will be available from SearchWide Global in early January 2024.

Visit Alexandria is the nonprofit visitor marketing organization for the City of Alexandria, Virginia. Recognized by Travel + Leisure among the Best Places to Travel in 2023 and Best Cities in the U.S. 2023 and voted a Condé Nast Traveler Top 3 Best Small City in the U.S. 2023, Alexandria is a welcoming weekend escape on the Potomac River, minutes from Washington, D.C. Founded in 1749 and boasting the nation’s third oldest historic district, Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel. Stroll Old Town Alexandria’s King Street mile to find more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques plus intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront. Explore vibrant neighborhoods beyond Old Town, trace George Washington and the Founding Fathers’ footsteps and follow the stories of Black Americans who shaped the history of Alexandria and the United States.

Facebook:           VisitAlexandriaVA
Twitter:               AlexandriaVA
Instagram:          VisitAlexVA
Hashtag:             #visitALX


From our partners