Rashad Young will be the District’s new city administrator. (AFRO File Photo)
Alexandria, Va. City Manager Rashad Young has been selected to manage the District of Columbia government on a daily basis by D.C. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser. Young will replace Allen Lew, selected by Gray in late 2010. Lew is praised for keeping the city on sound fiscal ground and making it a destination for residents and businesses.
“Residents are ready for a fresh start and I’m ready to deliver on that promise,” Young said. “The District deserves services that are on time and on budget. I will work tirelessly to meet and exceed those expectations.”
Bowser selected Young from a short list of candidates and said she liked what she saw in the 38-year-old manager. “Rashad brings great energy, experience, and a proven track record to the District of Columbia,” the mayor-elect said Dec. 8. “He will play a critical role in executing my bold vision for the District and help us deliver world-class services to the residents and the businesses of Washington, D.C.”
Alexandria is a historic city across the Potomac River from the District, with a population of 138,000 that is 22 percent Black. Young is credited with improving the city government’s interaction with residents, raising the performance of city agencies and ensuring agency accountability.
While managing the District is a step-up for Young, Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille said he is up for the challenge. “His work has made Alexandria a better place to live, work and visit, and we are proud that Mayor-elect Bowser has asked him to share his talents with our nation’s capital.”
In Alexandria, Young, who became the city’s youngest and first Black city manager in 2011, worked with a 3,700 workforce and a $637 million budget. However, in the District, he will supervise 36,000 employees and is accountable for a nearly $11 billion budget. And, city leaders have plenty of advice for him as he prepares to start on Jan. 2, 2015.
“I want him to be a good steward of the city’s financial operation and the government,” said D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), reflecting the views of many Washingtonians.
D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) said, “He (Young) needs to make sure that D.C. agencies deliver services to residents and cut waste.” She added, “He should think about better preparing the city for the future.”
Young will deal with a city that has a population growth of 1,100 residents a month and approximately 55 construction cranes across the city. The challenges he faces include ensuring services are fairly allocated in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River and cutting bureaucracy to make the city more business-friendly.
Young has a resume that certainly qualifies him to take on these daunting task. He worked in municipal management in such cities as Dayton, Ohio; Greensboro, N.C., and Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a national board member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, a credentialed manager, a member of the International City/County Management Association, and a teacher at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs.
On Dec. 15, Bowser announced other appointments. Young’s deputy city administrator will be Kevin Donahue, who will leave his job as director of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Performance Improvement Council. Bowser also announced the appointment of Brenda Donald as deputy mayor for Health and Human Services and Jennifer C. Niles as deputy mayor for Education. Bowser also said she will retain Cathy Lanier as chief of the District’s police force and Kaya Henderson as chancellor of the D.C. Schools.