Shawn Townsend wants to clear up one thing right away: He’s not the “Night Mayor.” For the record, Muriel Bowser is Washington, D.C.’s leader, 24/7. But “Night Czar?” Well, if “czar” means ensuring that D.C.’s nightlife keeps thriving, and acting as a liaison between residents, nightlife businesses, and city agencies, that name just might fit. Townsend, picked last December from about 500 candidates who sought to be Director of Nightlife and Culture, is one of 13 city nightlife coordinators around the world, but only the second in the United States, the other being in New York. Here, he talked with Erinn Tucker, Ph.D., Faculty Director of Georgetown’s Global Hospitality Leadership master’s program, about the importance of sustaining D.C.’s vibrant entertainment culture—both day and night.
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