NEW: Chief of McLean Community Center resigns, temporarily replaced | FFXnow

McLean Community Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) For the second time in as many years, the McLean Community Center needs a new Executive Director.

Daniel Singh resigned from his post on July 26, but the news only became public yesterday (Thursday), when Fairfax County announcement that he has appointed a temporary replacement.

MCC confirmed Singh’s resignation in a statement to FFXnow. The board of directors had a scheduled meeting the following day (July 27), although its standard procedures state that meeting minutes and an audio recording will not be released until the next board meeting on September 7.

“Fairfax County has appointed Evan Braff an interim executive director to lead MCC,” MCC said by email. “MCC operations and programs will continue uninterrupted. The Board of Directors plans to begin the search for a new CEO in the near future.

Set to take over Monday, August 15, Braff is currently Fairfax County Coordinator. County Executive Officebut his 28-year career with the county included work in recreation and community service, according to the press release:

Braff is currently the countywide coordinator in the Fairfax County Executive’s Office, where he designs, manages, and coordinates high-impact initiatives, projects, and partnerships. His career with Fairfax County spans 28 years, including service in various roles including Supervisor of Therapeutic Recreation Division, Teen Services and After School Programs; senior center division supervisor; and Regional Services and Center Operations Manager for Region 4.

During his tenure, Braff has taken on important leadership roles in local government making strong commitments to results, sustainability and collective impact. He has received numerous national, state and local awards for his innovation, teamwork and exemplary leadership.

Braff received a BA in Sociology from George Mason University. He also holds a Master of Science in Recreation and Leisure Studies from State University of New York at Cortland and a Master of Public Administration from George Mason University.

Singh’s resignation comes just 14 months after he had been named CEO in May 2021.

His vision for the community center emphasized diversity and expanded the scope of the facility as it tried to adapt after the first year of the pandemic.

Singh oversaw the development of a new five-year strategic plan, which won a public hearing on July 6, but has not yet been finalized, and an ongoing effort to update the MCC website. He also guided the return of in-person events like McLean Day, although not all of them were successfully staged.

However, the focus on diversifying MCC’s programming and audience—specifically, a “Drag Storybook Hour” at the Dolley Madison Library—and a comment made by Singh on the center’s role amid ‘COVID-19, racial tension and whistles of white supremacy’ pissed off some community members.

FFXnow also heard some displeasure after Singh attributed a staff shortage to his predecessor, George Sachs, at a council meeting April 20. Sachs had been executive director for more than 10 years before retirement in May 2021.

Contacted by FFXnow, Board Chair Barbara Zamora-Appel shared the same statement as MCC. No timeline has yet been given as to when exactly the search for a permanent executive director will begin.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, who represents the McLean area, says he wishes Singh “success in whatever he decides to do next” and expressed support for the current direction of MCC. in a statement:

The McLean Community Center is a tremendous community asset. The direction and programming of the Center is determined by the MCC Board of Directors acting on behalf of the McLean community. The current Board of Directors and its predecessors have done an excellent job. As a longtime supervisor and resident of McLean, I appreciate the current programming and believe it should be continued. I would also like to see more emphasis on community building activities like parades, outdoor festivals and craft shows. And I would like to see MCC lead more joint community development efforts with the many other great organizations that serve McLean residents.

Jill E. Washington