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 as City Manager on October 1, 2018. Mark has worked in local government for nearly 23 years, most recently 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 has provided leadership on several visible issues, including 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 extensive experience in human resources, serving as 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 also served as Street Services Operations Program Manager for the City of Fort Worth and oversaw the in-house street maintenance and overlay program.

He is an ordained minister and most recently served as pastor of Vision of Hope African Methodist Episcopal Church in Austin. He previously served as pastor at two other congregations. He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He has a bachelor of business administration in human resources management from Tarleton State University, a master of business administration from Amberton University and a master of arts and doctorate in education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mark has served as a Trustee of Paul Quinn College, member of the Tarleton State University College of Business Advisory Board, State President of the International Public Management Association Texas chapter and 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.  

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.