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Fairfax County, Virginia

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Deputy County Executive – Fairfax County, Virginia


The Position

Fairfax County’s next Deputy County Executive will have the opportunity to help lead and oversee land use, community revitalization, transportation, public works and environmental services, and code compliance. In addition, the Deputy County Executive will play a key role in implementing a countywide Strategic Plan for Economic Success. This urban county has a history of stable political leadership, effective citizen engagement, progressive environmental sustainability efforts, and outstanding service delivery. Fairfax County, the largest jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, has a reputation for sound fiscal management, which is corroborated by its AAA bond rating and the County Park Authority’s recent acceptance of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Fairfax County employs 12,672 full-time equivalents and its FY2019 adopted operating budget is $4.28 billion, of which $2.26 billion is allocated to support the Fairfax County Public Schools system. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approves the County’s transfer to the Fairfax County Public Schools. Fairfax County Schools have an elected School Board with twelve members serving a four-year term. The School system is led by a Superintendent appointed by the School Board. FCPS is the third largest employer in Virginia with 24,600 full-time staff positions, more than 92 percent of which are school-based.

The County’s FY2019-FY2023 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) totals $10.7 billion. The Deputy County Executive currently oversees the Directors of the Office of Community Revitalization, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Code Compliance, Department of Planning and Zoning, and Department of Land Development. This position also serves as the liaison to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Park Authority, and works with Housing and Community Development on redevelopment and revitalization efforts. Each of the deputy county executives reports to the County Executive and works closely with the other deputies on county-wide initiatives, board priorities, and organizational issues. This is one of three deputies who serve with the Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Director, and other members of the County Executives’ Senior Management Team. The other two Deputy County Executives oversee public safety and human services.

The Organization

Fairfax County operates under an urban county executive form of government. The Board of Supervisors is responsible for the legislative and administrative affairs of the County. The Board of Supervisors consists of nine members elected by district, plus a chairman elected at large. The Board elects the vice chairman annually from among its members at its first meeting in January. Board members are elected for four-year terms. The Board of Supervisors appoints a County Executive who is the administrative head of the county government and oversees the day-to-day administration on behalf of the Board.

The County Executive is responsible to the Board of Supervisors for planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and coordinating county activities and does this with the aid of three Deputy County Executives. Like other local governments in Virginia, Fairfax County has authority granted by the state, commonly referred to as the Dillon Rule.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal Deputy County Executive will be a proven leader with a strategic vision who is able to work collaboratively across the county, values input of others, and stays focused on achieving the goals of the Board of Supervisors and the County Executive. The ideal candidate is at his or her best when working with others and fosters strong partnerships with those in the private and nonprofit sectors as well with business and community groups. The next Deputy will be an effective translator across departments and functions; between public, private, and nonprofit sectors; and between the elected officials and the staff. This person will have proven experience in leading large, complex projects including public-private partnerships, shared facilities and service-delivery, and change management within the organization.

This person will be approachable, a strong communicator and negotiator, and will work to establish and maintain effective relationships with stakeholders, gaining their trust and respect. The ideal candidate will have mentored staff, developed a pipeline for leadership, and can provide a great example for those in the organization. The next Deputy will be ethical and lead by example but will also be comfortable playing a support role working with the County Executive, other deputies, and in supporting the Board of Supervisors. He or she will have a lifelong learning outlook, bring fresh ideas and approaches to improving operations and processes from the customer’s point of view, and be open to overseeing new areas and functions to meet the needs of the County.

Experience and Education

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to a master’s degree and at least ten years of increasingly responsible managerial experience in a complex local government with seven of these years at the executive level.

Proven experience and success in managing and resolving complex issues in the areas of economic development, land use, redevelopment and revitalization, transportation, and public work and environmental services, plus demonstrated experience collaborating across all areas of local government is preferred. Experience working in a complex local government, a diverse community, leading organizational change, and implementing strategic initiatives and projects is also preferred. Residency is not required.

The Community

Fairfax County, which encompasses 395 square miles, is a diverse and thriving urban community with three towns. As the most populous jurisdiction in both Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the county’s population exceeds that of eight states and the District of Columbia. The County’s population is projected to be 1,141,275 in CY 2018. The median household income of Fairfax County is one of the highest in the nation and over half of its adult residents have earned four-year college degrees or higher.

Fairfax County is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The County is also home to seven Fortune 500 companies.

The Fairfax County Park Authority maintains over 390 county parks on more than 23,000 acres. The County also maintains miles of trails which offer some of the region’s best and safest routes for recreational walking and biking.

Transportation options within the County are abundant. Washington Dulles International Airport lies partly within Fairfax County. Washington’s Metro Orange, Blue, and Yellow lines, as well as the new Silver line all serve Fairfax County. In addition, the Virginia Railway Express provides commuter rail service to Washington, D.C. with stations in Fairfax County.

Students within both Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax are served by the Fairfax County Public Schools system, which enrolls over 180,000 students. As the largest public-school system in the Commonwealth and the tenth largest in the nation, Fairfax County Public Schools operates 141 elementary schools, 23 middle schools, 30 high schools, 31 nontraditional school programs, six secondary schools, and eight special education schools. Included within the County’s school system is Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a state-chartered magnet school that is frequently cited as the best high school in the United States. George Mason University, a prestigious higher-learning institution that enrolls approximately 35,000 students, and several campuses affiliated with Northern Virginia Community College can also be found in Fairfax County.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 1,142,888
  • Median Household Income: $114,329
  • Median Home Value: $516,800
  • Median Age: 38 years
  • Total Area: 406 square miles


The salary range for this position is $133,952-$223,253, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at Applicants first complete a brief online form and then are prompted to provide one document (Word or PDF) that contains a cover letter and resume with salary history. The position is open until filled with a first review of applications October 22, 2018.


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

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