Arlington County, Virginia News

For Immediate Release

Monday, August 03, 2009

Contact:Mary Curtius 703-228-7943 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)

Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee Leaves to Join ICMA

Departs in November after 29 Years with Arlington

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee announced today that he will leave his position this fall to join ICMA, the International City/County Management Association.

“After more than 29 wonderful years working for Arlington County, the time has come to move to the next phase of my career this fall,” Carlee wrote in a letter to the Arlington County Board. 

“To many people, Ron is known as ‘Mr. Arlington,’ due to his passionate commitment to serving Arlingtonians and creating a quality community in which each person is important,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Barbara A. Favola. “While we can’t ever really replace Ron, we will immediately begin a national recruitment to find his successor.”

In November, Carlee will join ICMA as executive-in-residence and director, Strategic Domestic Initiatives. He also will continue his long-standing relationship with The George Washington University, where he teaches in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. “My goals going forward are to take the lessons I have learned in Arlington and help advance professional local government management and prepare the next generation of local government leaders,” commented Carlee.

Carlee has served as Arlington’s county manager since 2001. He began his career in Arlington in 1980 as a budget analyst. During his career, he headed up the County’s Y2K efforts; served as director of Parks and Recreation; and served as the longtime director of the Department of Human Services.

He is widely recognized within professional management for his leadership in Arlington’s response to the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. He has spoken often on the topic of emergency management and the importance of a team approach and currently serves as a tri-chair of the National Consortium on Homeland Security. 

Carlee has overseen intense redevelopment in Arlington, resulting in the community’s international reputation for smart growth, and an economy that is considered one of the best places to be during the recession.  During Carlee’s tenure, Arlington has maintained its fiscal integrity.  Post 9-11, during the Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) process, and during the current recession the County has continued to receive triple, triple-A bond ratings. Carlee also has spoken compellingly on the importance of ethics, social equity, and immigrant rights in local communities.

Carlee will continue to provide day-to-day oversight as county manager through October, while providing consultation to ICMA.

Carlee is originally from Birmingham, Alabama, where he began his career in local government as assistant to the mayor.  He has a Doctorate in public administration from The George Mason University, Master’s Degree in urban studies from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Montevallo. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Carlee and his wife Emily Cross are long-time residents of Arlington.

Carlee will be sharing his transitional experiences on Twitter ( and on his blog (

Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.

Last Modified: August 03, 2009
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