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Fairfax County Hires Tony Castrilli as New Public Information Officer

Castrill replaces Merni Fitzgerald, who announced last fall that she planned to retire from her county Office of Public Affairs position in March.

Tony Castrill is the new spokesman for Fairfax County. Photo provided by Fairfax County
Tony Castrill is the new spokesman for Fairfax County. Photo provided by Fairfax County

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed Tony Castrilli as director of the Office of Public Affairs and chief county spokesperson.

He replaces Merni Fitzgerald, longtime spokeswoman for the county, who recently announced her retirement from her county job. Fitzgerald has earned high praise from everyone she's worked with (see this profile of Fitzgerald in the Sun Gazette). She'll be leaving her position in good hands.

Castrilli has close to two decades of media and public affairs experience in the National Capital Region, currently as the director of communications and public information for the City of Alexandria. Since 2008, Castrilli has served the city as chief spokesperson and he has led communications strategy for all citywide public information, crisis communications, media relations, digital/social media, customer service, employee communications and community engagement. Some of his accomplishments in Alexandria include:

  • Providing strategic communications guidance to the city manager and elected leaders.
  • Directing crisis communications response to natural disasters (such as Superstorm Sandy, winter storms, derecho storm) and high-profile city issues.
  • Managing digital policy and content, including the city website, e-government initiatives and digital channels.
  • Overseeing management, content and production of AlexTV, the city cable television channel.
  • Leading the development, implementation, branding and operations of the new citywide customer service public call center.
  • Leading the team that developed employee communications including a new intranet and internal newsletter.

Castrilli previously worked for nine years at WUSA-TV 9 as executive producer of news coverage and managing editor. He led daily editorial content and coverage in the ninth largest TV market in the country. Castrilli directed resources for daily news around the National Capital Region, including breaking news such as 9/11, D.C. sniper shootings, anthrax attacks, Virginia Tech shootings, elections, inaugurations and other high-profile stories.

He also spent two years as managing editor at the NBC affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y. He started his local TV career in the D.C. area in 1992 at NewsChannel 8.

Castrilli, a Fairfax County resident, earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the State University of New York at Fredonia. He will begin his new position March 3 and will earn an annual salary of $144,270.

 

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