National Capital Planning Commission



Office of the Executive Director

Marcel Acosta Marcel Acosta
Executive Director

has more than 25 years of experience in urban and transportation planning. As executive director of the federal government’s central planning agency, he oversees a team of urban planners, architects, historic preservationists, and other professionals who are committed to preserving and enhancing the extraordinary qualities of the National Capital Region (NCR). Mr. Acosta is also a federal appointee to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Board of Directors, serving as a voting board member. The Metro Board of Directors determines agency policy and provides oversight for the funding, operation, and expansion of transit facilities in the NCR.

Before joining NCPC in 2001, Mr. Acosta served as senior vice president of planning and development for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the nation’s second largest public transportation system. As CTA’s chief planner, he developed new capital programs and oversaw successful initiatives that increased ridership and reduced operating costs for the city’s bus and rail systems. Prior to CTA, he held the position of deputy commissioner for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Mr. Acosta received a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a 2001 Loeb Fellow of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Barry Socks Barry Socks
Chief Operating Officer

joined NCPC in 2004 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where he was the deputy director of human resources. During his tenure at FEMA, Mr. Socks also served in other leadership positions, including acting deputy regional director in the Kansas City, Missouri Office; deputy federal coordinating officer for the Northridge Long-Term Recovery Office in Pasadena, California; and deputy director of the Emergency Support Team. Mr. Socks received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowie State University.


Office of the General Counsel

Anne Schuyler Anne Schuyler
General Counsel

has extensive experience in real estate, environment, and energy law. She previously served as an associate attorney for the U.S. Air Force, Office of General Counsel where she specialized in real estate transactions and environmental and energy law. She also served as WMATA’s chief real estate attorney; a realty specialist with the Department of State where she undertook foreign, multi-million dollar acquisition, disposition, and leasing transactions; and a land-use planning and zoning attorney in private practice. Ms. Schuyler worked as an urban planner for several public agencies including the District Office of Planning. She holds a J.D. from Washington College of Law, American University and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Office of the Secretariat / Office of Administration

Deborah Young Deborah Young
Secretary to the Commission and Director

is the official liaison between members of the Commission and the NCPC staff.  Prior to joining NCPC in 1992, she was a program analyst at the Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Young received a Bachelor of Science degree from Jackson State University.

The Office of Administration provides day-to-day operations and support to the Commission and staff in the areas of human capital management; financial management and accounting; budget formulation, execution, and control; procurement and contracting; space and facilities management; property inventory; and other general administrative functions.
  , Staff Assistant
, IT Manager
, IT Specialist (INFOSEC)
, Human Resources Specialist
, Information Receptionist
, Management Assistant

Physical Planning Division

Physical Planning guides the design, visualization, and implementation of Commission policies that are focused on physical features or a specific geography. The division advances the federal interest and enhances the livability, human scale, and cultural treasures of the nation’s capital. Its initiatives address regional issues, including transportation and security, and focuses on geographical areas ranging from specific sites to districts and neighborhoods.


Elizabeth Miller, AICP

is a certified planner. Her area of expertise includes landscape architecture, urban design, planning, and development. Prior to joining the Commission in 2001, Elizabeth served as a Principal Planner and Urban Designer in South Florida for more than 16 years in the public and private sectors. She received a Master of Design with a concentration in Real Estate Development from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of Florida.

, Senior Urban Planner
, AICP, Assoc. AIA, Urban Planner
, Architect - Urban Design
, Community Planner  


Policy and Research Division

The Policy and Research Division identifies critical issues and opportunities facing the federal government in the National Capital Region, evaluates policy options and priorities, and works with the Commission and other partners in developing an agenda for public and private action. Their work includes developing and updating the congressionally mandated Comprehensive Plan and Federal Capital Improvements Program and disseminating research on important federal interests in the region.

Michael Sherman

Michael Sherman, Associate AIA

joined NCPC in 1997 from the Massachusetts Port Authority, where he was a geographic information systems (GIS) manager. Prior to that he served as an associate planner with Sasaki Associates in Watertown, Massachusetts. He received a Master of City Planning and an M.S. in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2005, Mr. Sherman was a senior executive fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

, Urban Planner 
, Senior Urban Planner
, Urban Planner
, Urban Planner


Urban Design and Plan Review Division

Urban Design and Plan Review coordinates the review of development plans and projects submitted by federal agencies, District of Columbia agencies, and other applicants. Its staff develops the recommendations used by the Commission to make decisions at its monthly meetings, and they provide professional expertise to the Commission and other agencies in the National Capital Region.

Shane Dettman

Shane Dettman

is a city planner with expertise in land use and zoning, urban design, environmental and historic preservation planning, and geographic information systems (GIS). Since joining NCPC in 2001, he has played significant roles in many NCPC planning functions ranging from the preparation of the Comprehensive Plan and Federal Capital Improvements Program, the Monumental Core Framework Plan, review of several complex projects, and developing several GIS analyses and applications. He holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning and a B.S. in Environmental Design from the University of Buffalo.

  , Urban Planner
, AICP, Urban Planner
, AICP, Urban Planner; BZA Representative
, Federal Preservation Officer   
, Urban Planner
, Urban Planner

Office of Public Engagement

The Office of Public Engagement (OPE) informs and involves the public on all aspects of the NCPC’s work. OPE coordinates outreach and participation in NCPC’s initiatives and activities, provides clear, accessible information to help the agency communicate with the public and media, and fosters partnerships to address planning challenges in the National Capital Region.

Julia Koster

Julia Koster, AICP

is a city planner with expertise in smart growth and environmental issues. Prior to joining the agency, she was the development coordinator for the Governor’s Office of Smart Growth in Maryland. Ms. Koster received a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
  , Graphic Designer 
, Web and New Media Manager
, Public Affairs Specialist

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National Capital Planning Commission, 401 9th Street, NW, Washington DC 20004
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