Manager Blaine Williams has named Josh Edwards as the new Assistant Manager for the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government. Edwards will assist with managing the day-to-day operations of assigned departments and serve as a liaison to the Manager. His first day will be July 22, 2019.
Edwards currently serves as the Assistant Budget Director of Strategy & Performance (Chief Innovation Officer) for the City of Durham, NC. In this role, he has led the Office of Performance and Innovation from its inception in 2017, building a team of internal consultants who work with all of Durham's 25 departments. Edwards also led the update of the City of Durham's FY2019-FY21 Strategic Plan and was instrumental in starting the Durham Strategy and Performance meetings, a STAT program where staff report to the City Manager on strategic plan implementation. Prior to this, Edwards had served as the Strategic Initiatives Manager for the city since June 2014.
"Josh brings a wealth of experience in strategic planning, data-driven decision making, and innovative processes into the Manager's Office and the Unified Government," said Manager Blaine Williams. "His work has focused on collaboration and problem-solving across departments to address positive changes. Those skills are particularly critical for us as a Unified Government and will serve this community well into the future."
Edwards holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s Degree from Wake Forest University. He started his public service career as a Budget Analyst in the Office of Management and Budget for Fairfax County, VA.
"I'm excited about the priorities of the Unified Government and the vision set forth by the Mayor and Commission's goals and strategies," said Edwards. "I've also been impressed with the staff and the current initiatives they are undertaking. I'm looking forward to bringing my skills in strategic planning and performance management to work with departments on a cohesive approach to address broader community strategies and community engagement."
Prior to joining Durham in 2014, Edwards had served as Senior Budget Analyst for the Town of Cary, NC since 2009. Edwards has also served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) as Vice President and President.
Edwards replaces Jestin Johnson, who left in June for a position with the City of Atlanta. He joins Deborah Lonon, who also serves in an Assistant Manager position, and Williams in the Manager's Office. The Manager's Office is responsible for the implementation of all policies, programs, contracts, ordinances, and resolutions as approved and directed by the Mayor and Commission. This office performs the administrative functions of the government, which support the activities of the Mayor and Commission.