Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington Appointed to Michigan Municipal League Board


Matt Bach
Assistant Director of Strategic Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected];


Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington Appointed to Michigan Municipal League Board

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington was recently appointed to the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees.

Washington will join a diverse group of community leaders representing communities of all shapes and sizes, said League Board President William Wild, mayor of Westland. He was appointed Friday to fill a vacancy on the 19-member board with his term expiring in the fall of 2022. With his appointment, the League board will now have 10 elected officials serving alongside nine municipal managers.

“We are extremely pleased to have Mark join us as we work to help our communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and reform our state’s broken system for funding its municipalities,” Wild said. “With Mark’s appointment, our board will continue to have representatives from some of our state’s largest cities working side-by-side with officials from some of our smallest communities. This diversity of thought and representation is a key tenant of our organization.”

Washington said he was honored to serve on the League board and follow in the footsteps of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, who served on the board for several years, including in 2016-17 as board president.

“I’ve long embraced the importance of looking outside your organization as a means of inspiration for creative problem solving in service of our residents,” Washington said. “I’m excited to serve on the League board and contribute to our shared goal of building inclusive, community wealth in every corner of our state.”

Since arriving in Grand Rapids as its city manager in October of 2018, Washington has led efforts to create a four-year strategic plan, reduce the overall cost of government services, create a performance management program, oversee the development of a Police Department Strategic Plan, launch an equitable economic development and mobility strategy, create a public safety oversight and accountability office, establish both an equity office and innovation office, launch a homeless outreach team, and reaffirm the city’s commitment to sustainability.

Washington worked in local government for 26 years, including as assistant city manager for the City of Austin, Texas where he supported the city manager in operating a workforce of 14,000 employees and a $4.1 billion budget, and directly oversaw the Convention Center and tourism, labor relations, human resources, telecommunications and regulatory affairs, information technology, innovation, facilities management, and fleet management. Prior to that, he served as director of human resources and civil service for the City of Austin where he led efforts that resulted in the municipality being recognized among the top 10 employers by Forbes Magazine thanks to efforts in strategic planning, talent management, employee engagement, labor management, risk management, equity, benefits, and leadership development. He previously served as assistant director of human resources for the City of Fort Worth, Texas.

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

Washington is also a member of the International City/County Management Association, Michigan Municipal Executives, and Grand Valley Metropolitan Council. In addition, he serves on the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Spectrum Health Community Commitment, National Forum for Black Public Administrators, and Tarleton State University College of Business advisory boards, and is a Trustee of Paul Quinn College. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and he is an ordained minister.

The Board of Trustees is a critical part of the League’s organizational structure and success by establishing a clear strategic direction for the 122-year-old institution.

Joining Washington and League President Wild on the board are Vice President Dr. Deirdre Waterman, Mayor, Pontiac; and Trustees Michael Cain, City Manager, Boyne City; Brian Chapman, City Manager, Sault Ste. Marie; Robert Clark, Mayor, Monroe; Peter Dame, City Manager, Grosse Pointe; Carla Filkins, Mayor, Cadillac; Monica Galloway, Councilmember, Flint; Stephen Gawron, Mayor, Muskegon; Robert La Fave, Village Manager, L’Anse; Frances McMullan, City Manager, Ypsilanti; André Spivey, Councilmember, Detroit; Jean Stegeman, Mayor, Menominee; Deborah Stuart, City Manager, Mason; Patrick Sullivan, City Manager, Northville; Keith Van Beek, City Manager, Holland; Diane Brown Wilhelm, Councilmember, Midland; and Barbara Ziarko, Councilmember, Sterling Heights.

For additional information contact the League’s Matt Bach, assistant director of strategic communications, at (810) 874-1073 and [email protected].

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at

©2022 Michigan Municipal League LLC. All rights reserved