Assistant County Manager for a Strong Community

Guilford County, NC | Full-time


The Position

Guilford County is a high-performing local government organization that maintains a culture embracing diversity, striving for equality, and inspiring individual and organizational excellence. The Assistant County Manager for a Strong Community is one of three Assistant County Managers and serves on the County Manager’s leadership team. This position is a new addition to the County Manager’s office as part of a reorganizational alignment under the Board’s values and priorities to provide strategic and intentional community and organizational support.

In this role, the Assistant County Manager will oversee Strong Community departments, including Animal Services, Cooperative Extension, Emergency Services, County Fire Services, Family Justice Center, Juvenile Detention, Parks and Recreation, Planning & Development, Inspections, and County Security. The Assistant County Manager will also help the County Manager provide operational support to the Sheriff. Departmental assignments may rotate among all Assistant County Managers as needed to meet operational goals.

The Assistant County Manager is responsible for directing successful work in the planning, administration, management, and execution of County services and the responsible use of County resources. A champion of engaged, diverse, inclusive, collaborative, and innovative organizational culture, the selected candidate will establish internal and external relationships that advance joint interests and achieve community priorities.  Particular emphasis is placed on identifying service and outcome disparities related to assigned departments and building collaborative partnerships to eliminate them. The selected candidate provides strategic direction to assigned departments and acts as a liaison between the County Manager and department directors and between County Government and other governmental entities, community partners, and resident groups. Developing and implementing operational goals, planning and achieving budgetary objectives, and facilitating the development and implementation of approved initiatives are all under the purview of the Assistant County Manager.

The Assistant County Manager (among other duties):     

  • Assists the County Manager in planning, organizing, and directing the County’s internal and external operations for the Strong Community departments and initiatives.
  • Supervises employees, prioritizes and assigns work, conducts performance evaluations, and guides training, development, and personnel matters.
  • Provides policy development assistance to the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Collaborates with management on complex issues and responds to citizen inquiries, requests, or complaints.
  • Develops and implements proposals approved by the Board of County Commissioners and/or County Manager.
  • Represents the County with elected officials, outside boards, and resident/advisory boards.
  • Develops and presents policy proposals to the County Manager and Board of Commissioners.

In addition, the Assistant County Manager will also help plan and oversee operating and capital project budgets approved for Strong Community departments. Potential capital projects include additional Emergency Services facilities; a Law Enforcement Administration Building; Probation, Parole, and Juvenile Justice space renovations; and park improvements. 


  • Develop a strong understanding of federal and state pandemic relief funding available to support health and economic recovery efforts for assigned departments and services and work with stakeholders to recommend the best use of these funds to build a more equitable and resilient community.
  • Partner with County fire districts and related departments to ensure appropriate levels of fire protection and response continue to be available in Guilford County.
  • Work closely with municipal partners to coordinate and implement a County Parks Master Planning Process.
  • Work with Guilford-Metro 911 partners to evaluate, select, and fund a new dispatch and records management system that meets community needs and supports the County’s data needs.
  • Work with departments and other stakeholders to ensure workforces for assigned departments reflect our community’s diversity. Develop innovative strategies and partnerships to build that diversity where needed.
  • Manage relationships and policy initiatives of assigned departments, including helping to lead a new criminal justice initiative focused on disrupting the cycle of incarceration and crisis through strategies that promote better outcomes for frequent utilizers by aligning justice and health and human services systems.

The Organization

The County operates as a Council-Manager form of government, with the Board appointing a professional County Manager to administer a variety of County functions. The County Manager’s office provides professional management and leadership for the County government by directing and supervising all County offices, departments, and agencies under the general control of the Board of Commissioners. The Manager is the Chief Administrator of the County government and is appointed by the nine-member Board of Commissioners. Under the County Manager are three Assistant County Managers overseeing Successful People, Strong Community, and Quality Government service areas. Assistant County Managers are responsible for assisting the County Manager in preparing and administering an annual budget and capital improvement program; advising the Board on fiscal and policy matters; and equitably administering the policies, laws, and ordinances, and other directives and goals of the Commissioners.

The County has adopted a total budget (all funds) of $754.5 Million for FY 2021-2022. Guilford County employs personnel in approximately 2,700 positions. The budget includes specific new investments in the Guilford County Schools and Guilford Technical Community College, public engagement and communication, data analytics, school medical services, and initiatives to address health disparities and support equitable access to services. Guilford County spends most of its generated revenue on Education, followed by Law Enforcement, Social Service, Public Health, and Emergency Services.

Core values for Guilford County are Transparency & Communication, Equity & Inclusion, Accountability, Service & Outcomes Excellence, and Our People Matter. The Board of Commissioners has identified the following high priority focus areas for FY 2021-22 to support their mission to provide efficient, effective, and responsive government:

  • School Bonds: Implement the $300 Million bond program approved by voters in November 2020 and plan for future school bond referenda.
  • Reduce Community Disparities: Address disparities in health, infant mortality, education, income, and other areas.
  • Improve County Communications: Ensure transparent communication with the public about services and programs and build a consistent County brand to help with resident engagement and economic development.
  • Intentional Collaboration: Deepen the County’s working relationships with other cities, towns, the school system, and other community partners and collaborate on service and program improvements.
  • Staff Resources: Ensure staff has the resources they need to do their jobs and accomplish the Board’s priorities, with an emphasis on developing data metrics to better understand workloads and how those compare with peer counties.
  • School Nurses: Increase the availability of school nursing services in the Guilford County Schools.

Experience and Education

Minimum requirements include a bachelor’s degree and eight to ten (8-10) years of progressively responsible experiences that provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Preferred qualifications include demonstrated experience working for a county in a leadership role and a track record of successfully applying systems-thinking approaches and cross-sector collaborations to improve services and resident outcomes. Extensive experience in or oversight of multiple departments in the Strong Community service area, particularly in public safety, emergency services, and planning & community development services, is preferred. A master’s degree in a field closely related to the assigned service areas, Public Administration or Business Administration, and six to eight (6-8) years of progressively responsible experience are desirable.

The Ideal Candidate

The next Assistant County Manager has experience working in both county and municipal government organizations with demonstrated success working with both internal departments and external partners to build diverse and inclusive relationships that advance common goals and support success for the entire community. Exceptional communication, leadership, human resources management, strategic planning, and budget and financial stewardship skills that help drive creative and forward-thinking strategic initiatives and experience in cross-departmental and cross-organizational collaboration are desired. The ideal Assistant County Manager will also have expertise nurturing innovation capacity and helping departments operationalize data to advance data-driven decision making.

A collaborative, inclusive, interactive, and team-oriented leadership style helps the Assistant County Manager develop positive relationships with staff that allow them to grow as leaders, build trust to take calculated risks, provide innovative programming, and continuously improve services. The Assistant County Manager strives to deeply understand the services assigned departments provide and actively assesses initiatives, strengths, and needs while encouraging innovative cross-collaboration where appropriate. The ability to guide teams with trust, compassion, and gratitude is critical.

The ideal Assistant County Manager cares about residents and is visible and approachable in the community. A natural connector and collaborator, the selected candidate will build strong internal relationships with County employees at all levels, elected officials, officials of other government jurisdictions, community partners and stakeholders, and the general public. Soliciting and acting on feedback will help build trust and transparency and guide strategic planning.

The successful candidate has significant experience working in a government organization responsible for managing, providing, and integrating multiple high-quality public safety, planning and development, and related community support services. Demonstrated experience in strategic planning for equitable public safety and community services is desired, as is experience designing and implementing innovative and collaborative programs to support individual and community success.

Thorough knowledge of principles and practices of public administration and the operation of public safety, planning and development, and related community support programs is necessary to build collaborative responses to broad community challenges. Considerable knowledge of federal and state laws affecting the portfolio of assigned departments is imperative.

The Community

Founded in 1771, Guilford County is the third-most populous county in North Carolina. Guilford County was named after Francis North, the first Earl of Guilford, and was formed from parts of Rowan and Orange Counties to centralize government and Courts of Guilford. The Guilford Courthouse became the location of General Nathanial Greene and Lord Cornwallis’ famous battle that was a turning point in the war and is still reenacted today. Guilford County, part of the beautiful Piedmont Triad area of north-central North Carolina, includes the Cities of Greensboro and High Point and several towns and smaller communities. The County historically served as one of the major manufacturing and transportation hubs of the Southeast, most notably for textiles and furniture, and to this day has the largest furnishings trade show in the world, the High Point Furniture Market.

With a rich history of anti-slavery activism, Guilford County is a stop on the historic Underground Railroad, a nationally known landmark within the civil rights movement. Abolitionist Levi Coffin noted Guilford College Woods (historically called New Garden Woods) as a refuge for the Underground Railroad, now a protected area. Additionally, historic segregation protests in 1960 happened at the then white-only lunch counter at the Woolworth store in downtown Greensboro. Helping to fuel similar efforts across the nation, the former Woolworth store location is now the site of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

The County is presently home to historical sites and institutions, as well as the host of notable recreational and cultural events such as the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, the North Carolina Folk Festival, the Wyndham Championship Golf Tournament, the Greensboro Grasshoppers and High Point Rockers baseball teams, and a variety of collegiate events. The public enjoys multiple regional parks within Guilford County, as well as opportunities for camping, fishing, golfing, and other outdoor recreation activities.

Guilford County residents benefit from strong educational programs. The County is home to many higher educational institutions, including North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, High Point University, Bennett College, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Elon University School of Law, and Guilford Technical Community College. Guilford County Schools is the third-largest school district in North Carolina and serves 70,000 PK-12 students at more than 120 schools with over 10,000 employees.

Guilford’s cities and towns are noted among the top U.S. cities for a low cost of living, almost 10% below the national average. These areas boast friendly, walkable neighborhoods, vibrant social scenes, plenty of cultural attractions, and a central location perfect for enjoying the abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. A three-hour drive east brings you to the beautiful North Carolina coast, while a three-hour drive west places you on Mount Mitchell in the magnificent North Carolina mountains, the highest point east of the Mississippi River.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 537,174
  • Median Household Income: $53,261
  • Median Home Value: $167,000
  • Median Age: 37.1

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.


The minimum to market expected hiring range is $132,517 – $166,972, depending on directly related qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with the first review of applications on August 10, 2021.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 513-221-0500.

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