Assistant city manager Marchell Adams-David will be the first woman and African American to serve as the city’s top bureaucrat when she takes over for City Manager Ruffin Hall in 2021.

“I am honored to serve our Capital City during this critical period in our history. I welcome this opportunity and am energized and committed to helping Raleigh grow into the best version of itself,” Adams-David said.

Ruffin Hall, who announced his retirement in August, has led city hall since 2013. In narrowing down the pool of candidates to fill his shoes, the Raleigh City Council chose Adams-David out of about 60 potential candidates. 

Adams-David, who is North Carolinian born and bred, beat out national candidates. She is a UNC-Chapel Hill alum and has worked in local government for more than two decades in Raleigh and Hamlet. 

“Sometimes it takes a national search to realize that you have exactly what you need right here at home,” Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said. 

Baldwin believes Adams-David has the vision and experience to lead the city while keeping in mind social and racial justice. 

Adams-David will take over the position on January 1 and will be the city’s seventh chief executive. The City Council voted unanimously on her appointment. 

“Today is a great day for the City of Raleigh. I couldn’t be more excited.” Baldwin said, “Marchell is someone who has a great combination of experience and vision and is exactly who our City needs right now to help address the challenges we face today and in the future.” 


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