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Meet Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee


City Manager Ron CarleeThe City of Charlotte implemented the Council-Manager Form of Government in 1929 by voter referendum. Ron Carlee was named Charlotte’s 11th city manager April 1, 2013. As city manager, Carlee is one of three positions appointed directly by the mayor and city council. The others are the city attorney and city clerk. 

As city manager, Carlee serves as the city’s chief executive officer responsible for the appointment of executive staff and oversight of all city operations. Carlee’s responsibilities are to uphold the ethical standards of professional city government, respect the democratic process and faithfully implement the policies of the mayor and city council while ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of city services. “Our ultimate goal as a city is to build a community where people can thrive,” said City Manager Ron Carlee. “This means that the whole of what we do must be greater than the mere sum of its parts.” 

Based on policy direction from the city council, Carlee is focused on services at the neighborhood level and building strong partnerships with Mecklenburg County, the business and philanthropic communities and especially neighborhood leaders. 

Prior to becoming Charlotte’s city manager, Carlee helped lead Arlington, Va., toward becoming a community with an international reputation for smart, urban growth with a thriving, resilient economy and inclusive social structure. Carlee is recognized for his leadership in Arlington’s response to the 9-11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. He has spoken widely on the topic of emergency management and the importance of a team approach. 

Carlee also served as the chief operating officer of the International City and County Management Association (ICMA) delivering day-to-day oversight of operations and leading efforts to provide research and implementation tools to professional local government executives. He led a wide range of partnership relationships with foundations, federal agencies, universities and private businesses that support local government. 

Carlee began work in local government in 1975 as assistant to the mayor of Birmingham, Ala. He holds a Doctorate in Public Administration, is a fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration and is an ICMA Credentialed Manager.

Carlee has been married to Emily Cross since 1987. He is originally from Birmingham, Ala., but lived in Arlington, Va., in the Washington, D.C. area for more than 30 years before moving to Charlotte in 2013. 

Prior Positions: 

2009-2012, Chief Operating Officer/Executive in Residence, ICMA, Washington, D.C. 
2001-2009, County Manager, Arlington, Va. 
1987-2001, Director of Human Services, Arlington, Va. ​(1999-2000, also served as interim Chief Information Officer during Y2K). 
1986-1987, Assistant City Manager, Arlington, Va. 
1985-1986, Director, Parks & Recreation, Arlington, Va. 
1982-1985, Chief, Administrative Services Division, Department of Community Affairs, Arlington, Va. 
1980-1982, Budget Analyst, Department of Management and Finance, Arlington, Va. 
1979, Press Secretary, Member of Congress 
1975-1979, Assistant to the Mayor, Birmingham, Ala. Education Doctor of Public Administration, George Mason University (1995) Master of Arts, Urban Studies, University of Alabama-Birmingham 
(1979) Bachelor of Arts, English, University of Montevallo, Alabama 
(1975) Adjunct Professor of Public Administration & Public Policy, George Washington University ​