David Ellis named first African-American to serve as Wake County manager

After a nationwide search, the Wake County Board of Commissioners announced Monday afternoon that it has selected David Ellis to serve as county manager, the organization's top leadership position.

Ellis will be the first African-American to serve in the county manager position.

"Wake County is my home, and I'm excited to move into a role that allows me to do even more to benefit my community and its residents," said Ellis, who has more than 25 years of local government experience.

"I look forward to working with our dedicated staff and local partners to make strides in key focus areas such as housing affordability, community health and economic vitality."

Ellis has spent the past 3.5 months serving as interim county manager, following the retirement of Jim Hartmann on October 27th.

Ellis started his tenure with Wake County in February 2015 when he accepted a deputy county manager position.

"David knows how to achieve what we, as a board, want to accomplish, and that's why we unanimously selected him to be our county manager," said Board of Commissioners Chair Jessica Holmes.

"Out of 25 applicants from across the country, he clearly stood out as the person who can realize our vision for the county."

Prior to coming to Wake County, Ellis served as assistant city manager in Charlottesville, Virginia, for three years.

He also held positions in Fairfax County, Virginia, including assistant to the county executive, assistant director of Human Services, and manager of the Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Department of Code Compliance.

Ellis holds a bachelor's degree from James Madison University and a master's degree in public administration from George Mason University. He also holds the distinction of credentialed manager through the International City/County Management Association.

In addition, Ellis successfully completed the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in 2017.
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