Melissa Bird is the Acting Associate Director of Neighborhood Planning at the DC Office of Planning. She oversees place-based planning initiatives such as Small Area Plans as well as Ward- based planning staff. She joined the DC Office of Planning in 2005. During her tenure she has served as the Ward 3 and Ward 6 Lead Planner and Comprehensive Plan Manager. Prior to becoming the Acting Associate Director, she served a two year detail as the Executive Director of DC Census 2020. As the director, she developed and managed the citywide engagement strategy to increase census participation, especially in historically undercounted communities. She has 20 years of experience including 5 years in environmental consulting for the Louis Berger Group. Her experience includes Master Planning, land use and zoning, partnership building, community engagement and management of complex projects. Melissa has a Master’s in Community Planning from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and a graduate of the Urban Land Institute, Regional Land Use Leadership Institute in 2016.