News & Politics  |  Real Estate

Names You Should Know Now that Amazon is Coming

These people matter more than ever now that HQ2 is on the way.

Street art in Crystal City. Photo courtesy of Crystal City.

Tracy Gabriel, president of the Crystal City BID

Or should we say the National Landing BID? “We are thrilled that National Landing was selected by Amazon as one of two new headquarters and are energized by the positive impact this will have on Crystal City,” said Gabriel in a statement Tuesday. Gabriel took over as head of the BID this summer, a role that makes her responsible for promoting the Crystal City community—including its retail, restaurants, and real estate. She happens to also be an expert on the other HQ2 winner, Long Island City. During a previous stint as vice president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, her portfolio included the Queens neighborhood.

Matt Kelly, CEO of JBG Smith

No one has more reason to pop the champagne today than Kelly. The 46-year-old CEO led JBG’s 2017 merger with the DC arm of Vornado Realty Trust to create JBG Smith—the biggest landowner in Crystal City. It was a risky bet, since the Arlington neighborhood has had a rough go of it in recent years, with an office vacancy rate surpassing 21 percent. But the HQ2 announcement means Kelly has officially secured the most sought-after tenant in the country for much of that empty space. (No surprise JBG Smith’s stock has been on the rise lately, too.)

Victor Hoskins, director of Arlington Economic Development

Since taking the post in 2015, Hoskins has been charged with keeping Arlington economically competitive. He previously worked in economic development for both Prince George’s County and DC. Before helping to attract HQ2, Hoskins was involved in landing Nestle’s headquarters for Rosslyn. Over the summer, he told Washingtonian that Amazon’s arrival would be “tremendously positive”: “If you think about what businesses do to press and push academic institutions to produce the next wave of workers, that will happen with an organization like Amazon coming here.”

Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, and Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president for global corporate affairs

Amazon has doubled the size of its Capitol Hill policy office over the past year. Huseman, a veteran of the Federal Trade Commission and Intel, joined Amazon in 2012 as a director of public policy. Now he oversees the whole lobby shop.

Carney, the former press secretary to President Barack Obama, is a rung above Huseman. Amazon tapped him in 2015 for the newly created position of senior VP for global corporate affairs, which, practically speaking, means he oversees both public policy and public relations.

John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate

Though he’s stationed in Seattle, Amazon’s real-estate chief likely knows more about our area than just about anyone, since he’s spent the last year poring over bids from Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, and the District. Schoettler has helmed Amazon’s real-estate portfolio since 2001, and has led the company’s expansion throughout Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. He’ll presumably become a frequent Washington visitor as he charts Amazon’s takeover of Crystal City.

Chuck Bean, executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is where local officials from across Washington convene to work out joint problems like traffic and escalating housing prices. With 25,000 new Amazon jobs slated to start arriving next year, Bean’s role as head of the Council is about to get even more challenging.

Stephen Fuller, economist and professor at George Mason University

Fuller is the authority on the Greater Washington economy, so if you want to stay up to speed on the effects of HQ2 on jobs, housing, and life in general in the years to come, you’ll want to bookmark his Stephen S. Fuller Institute for Research on the Washington Region’s Economic Future. (Because lord knows you won’t be able to remember that mouthful long enough to type it into Google.) Last week, Fuller shared his prediction with Washingtonian that 25,000 Amazon jobs arriving over a period of years, or even decades, will not be nearly as drastic as some people fear.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.