National Building Museum executive tapped to lead McLean Community Center

The McLean Community Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The McLean Community Center has found a new executive director who will, hopefully, be a bit more permanent than its last one.

Fairfax County announced yesterday that the MCC Board of Directors appointed Betsy May-Salazar at a special meeting on Wednesday (Dec. 14) after an over four-month search for a long-term successor to Daniel Singh, who resigned on July 26 just 14 months into the job.

Evan Braff, a countywide coordinator in Fairfax County’s Office of the County Executive, took over as acting executive director on Aug. 15 following Singh’s resignation. May-Salazar will officially assume the position on Jan. 3.

“On behalf of the McLean Community Center Board of Directors, I am pleased to welcome Betsy as our new executive director,” MCC Board Chair Barbara Zamora-Appel said in a statement. “Her extensive experience managing operations, strategic planning and development of compelling programs for the public, along with her longstanding ties to McLean, position her well. I look forward to working with Betsy to expand our reach, cultivate partnerships and make the McLean Community Center the best it can be for our community.”

A longtime resident of McLean, per the news release, May-Salazar had worked at the National Building Museum in D.C. since 1995, most recently serving as its senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Before that, she was program director of the Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a professional nonprofit that provides education, advocacy and community outreach for architects.

She received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in interdisciplinary studies from Miami University and a master’s degree in arts in American studies from George Washington University.

When Singh arrived at MCC in April 2021, he and the board touted promoting diversity and equity as a top priority, a stance that occasionally spurred backlash from some community members.

While the county’s release didn’t share much insight into what May-Salazar will do in her new role, the community center has focused on expanding its audience as it works to finalize a five-year strategic plan and prepares for its 50th anniversary in 2025.

Last month, MCC launched a youth ambassador initiative to promote its events and programming more among local high school students.

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