David J. Byrd was appointed as the National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) on June 15, 2020. Mr. Byrd is the 18th National Director of the agency. In his role he oversees the development and implementation of Agency initiatives, policy agenda, and federal grant programs.
Prior to accepting the fourth presidential appointment of his career at HUD, Mr. Byrd served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy Development, at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the latter part of 2016, Mr. Byrd served on the Trump Presidential Transition Team where he had dual responsibilities. He served as a “talent scout” identifying potential candidates for executive appointments to the new Administration while also serving as Co-Leader of the HUD Agency Action Team, organizing the blueprint for HUD policy and personnel infrastructure.
As CEO/Founder of Byrd’s Eye, LLC, Mr. Byrd led a consulting firm that offered government relations, political consulting, executive and life skills coaching services to a wide variety of clients. He is also a Certified Professional Life Coach. Mr. Byrd founded his company in November 2003 and, after a five-year return to public service, restarted his company in October 2011.
Mr. Byrd served as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George’s County, MD, from April 2006 to January 2011. Mr. Byrd’s responsibilities included governmental operations and public infrastructure, environmental services, economic development, and internal support services. In this position, he was the county’s principal to DCWater, the region’s world class water utility serving as Vice Chair.
Prior to his county government service, he served as Chief of Staff to the Maryland Lt. Governor. As Chief of Staff, Mr. Byrd directed the day-to-day operations of the Lt. Governor’s office and championed the Lt. Governor’s political, policy, and personnel agenda.
In 2002, Mr. Byrd was Associate Commissioner for External Affairs at the Social Security Administration. He developed strategic relationships with national advocacy organizations and created the framework for the roll out of the President’s Initiative on Social Security Reform.
Mr. Byrd spent seven years in New Jersey State Government, from 1994-2001, focusing primarily on economic development issues. As Director of the Office of Small Business, Mr. Byrd achieved a historic milestone when he and his staff worked with state procurement officers to surpass the $1 billion mark in small business contracting. Additionally, he led trade missions to South Africa, Namibia, and Ethiopia securing over $400 million in contract awards for New Jersey businesses.
Earlier in his career, he worked at: the Republican National Committee, recruiting and training candidates for county, state, and federal elective office; the U.S. Department of Education, advising the assistant secretary on postsecondary education issues; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, implementing policy on children and family issues; and the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, as a researcher.
Throughout his career, Mr. Byrd has received designations, awards, and accolades. In March 2010, the Prince George’s County (MD) Executive nominated him for Chairman of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In September 2009, BMoreNews.com and the Minority Business and Consumer Resource Directory gave him their “Champion for Minority Business Award” for his dedication and public service to the minority business community in the metropolitan region.
Public service is a Byrd family tradition. A great-uncle was a butler at the White House during the Wilson and Harding Administrations. Another uncle was the third African-American police chief in U.S. history and the first west of the Rocky Mountains. An aunt was the first African- American elected to the Wyoming Legislature, and a distant cousin was the first woman elected Mayor of Washington, DC. His nephew is currently Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington. His father once served as an aide to the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey.
David John Byrd was born in East Orange, NJ, and grew up in Jackson Township, NJ. He completed his bachelor’s degree in English at Ohio Wesleyan University and completed his master’s degree in Corporate Public Relations at Rowan University (formerly known as Glassboro State College).
He is a former member of Toastmasters International and the Public Relations Society of America. He and his wife, Jacquie, live in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.