Robert J. O’Neill Jr.
Executive Director, International City/County Management Association
Robert J. “Bob” O’Neill, Jr., became ICMA’s executive director in December 2002. As executive director, Mr. O’Neill, a 30-year member of ICMA, oversees all aspects of the Association, including membership, staff, and implementation of the executive board’s strategic objectives. He is responsible for a $25-million dollar budget and a staff of 150 employees in the United States and abroad.
Prior to joining ICMA in December 2002, Mr. O’Neill served as president of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) from January 2000 to November 2002. NAPA is a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to improve the design and management of federal, state, and local governments. From May through September of 2001, Mr. O’Neill was on temporary assignment at the Office of Management and Budget as counselor to the director and deputy director on management issues, where he coordinated various policy and program issues with government-wide management councils, including the President’s Management Council, Chief Financial Officers Council, Chief Information Officers Council, Procurement Executives Council, and the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency.
Mr. O’Neill served as Fairfax County executive from 1997 to 2000. In that position, he oversaw Virginia’s largest general-purpose local government with an annual operating budget of $2 billion and approximately 11,000 employees.
Mr. O’Neill was city manager of Hampton, Virginia, from 1984 to 1997. Among Mr. O’Neill’s many accomplishments were a downtown and waterfront revitalization initiative and development of a nationally recognized “youth-at-risk” program.
In 2001 Mr. O’Neill received The Spirit of Public Service award – the highest award presented by the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. In 1996 he was the recipient of the prestigious National Public Service Award presented by the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Society for Public Administration. The award recognizes individuals who have made a difference in public administration for a sustained length of time. In 1997 O’Neill was elected an Academy Fellow.
In the early 1980s, Mr. O’Neill was the director of management consulting services for the Virginia offices of Coopers & Lybrand, one of the former “big six” accounting firms. Previously he served as regional manager for the Management Improvement Corporation of America, providing financial analysis and organizational restructuring support for cities and counties throughout Virginia.
Mr. O’Neill graduated summa cum laude from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1973. He received a master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1974. He is a 1984 graduate of the Executive Program of the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. In 1999 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from Old Dominion University.