City Manager Mark Washington

Photograph of Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington




More Details

Office of the City Manager

Mark Washington became Grand Rapids City Manager on October 1, 2018.


Mark Washington began serving as Grand Rapids City Manager on October 1, 2018.  As City Manager, he functions as the Chief Executive Officer for the Municipal Corporation and oversees the $540M budget, workforce of 1,500 employees and all city departments, operations, policies, and programs related to public safety, economic development, community services, mobility, infrastructure, health, environment, recreation and community engagement.  He is committed to making  Grand Rapids a nationally recognized equitable, welcoming, innovative and collaborative City with a robust economy, safe and healthy community, and the opportunity for a high quality of life for all.

Mark has worked in local government for nearly 23 years.  Prior to being City Manager, Mark served as Assistant City Manager for the City of Austin, Texas. In that role, he assisted the City Manager in operating a workforce of 14,000 employees and a $4.1 billion budget.  He also provided direct executive oversight to several departments, including human resources, labor relations, fleet services, communications and technology management, building services, innovation, telecommunications, regulatory affairs and the Austin Convention Center.   Mark provided executive leadership on labor contract negotiations, improving police oversight and community relations, hosting and planning large events such as South by Southwest (SXSW) and creating public-private partnerships to address civic challenges such as equity, homelessness, digital inclusion, housing/tenant rights, right-of-way uses for disruptive technology and workforce development for marginalized populations.

He has also served Director of Human Resources and Civil Service for the City of Austin and before that as Assistant Director of Human Resources for the City of Fort Worth, Texas (6,500 employees). Mark has served as Street Services Operations Program Manager for the City of Fort Worth and oversaw the in-house street maintenance and overlay program.

He has a bachelor of business administration degree from Tarleton State University, a master of business administration degree from Amberton University and master of arts and doctorate in education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mark is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Grand Valley Metropolitan Council and Planning Organization, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Advisory Board, Spectrum Health Community Commitment Advisory Board, National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), Trustee of Paul Quinn College, member of the Tarleton State University College of Business Advisory Board, Past State President of the International Public Management Association Texas chapter and former board member of the Texas Municipal Human Resources Association and the Austin Area Urban League, among other organizations. He holds the International Public Management Association-Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP) designation and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designation, among other certifications.   He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and an ordained minister.

Mark became familiar with Grand Rapids in 2016 when he visited as part of the City of Austin’s work with the Racial Equity Here initiative, of which the City of Grand Rapids is a participant.