County Administrator

Washington County, OR | Full-time


The Position

Washington County, Oregon, is seeking a County Administrator to provide sound professional advice to the Board of County Commissioners, organizational leadership to the outstanding staff, and ensure the county’s continued success as a local government that is focused on community engagement and collaborative problem-solving. Located in Greater Portland, the county enjoys unique cultural offerings and boasts an exceptional quality of life. This Pacific Northwest community of over 600,000, home to Intel and Nike, with abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, truly offers the best of metro amenities near preserved rural areas. The County Administrator is retiring at the end of the year after over 30 years with the county, serving as the County Administrator since 2006.

The County Administrator serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Commissioners and ensures direction provided by the Board is implemented within budget. The Administrator is responsible for the coordination of all county services, preparation of the budget and capital improvement program, and the general supervision of all county personnel.

The County Administrator’s direct reports include the Assistant County Administrator, three Deputy County Administrators, Government Relations Team, and six department directors. The administrator is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners. The county’s chief legal advisor (County Counsel) is appointed by the Board, and the Sheriff, District Attorney, and County Auditor are separately elected. The Board also appoints the Chief Executive Officers of Clean Water Services. All work collaboratively on county policy and service issues and work closely with the County Administrator.

The Organization

Washington County is a home rule community that operates under the council-manager form of government. The five non-partisan elected Commissioners appoint a County Administrator to serve as the chief executive of the organization. The Chair of the Board of Commissioners is elected at-large while the four other Commissioners are elected from districts. All Commissioners are elected to serve four-year terms.

Departments within the organization include Community Corrections, Assessment and Taxation, Housing Services, Health and Human Services, Land Use and Transportation, Juvenile Services, and Government Relations. Support Services, overseen by an Assistant County Administrator, includes all internal service functions, including budget, finance, human resources, risk, emergency management, information services, fleet, and facilities.

County services are made possible through a workforce of approximately 2,188 FTEs. The county’s all funds budget for FY 2019-2020 is $1.4 billion, of which $317.4 million is the General Fund Budget and $364.4 million is the Capital Budget.

The county works cooperatively with the cities that are wholly or partially within the county’s boundaries, five fire districts, plus Clean Water Services and other service districts to serve the county’s shared residential, business, and institutional constituents. The county provides classical county services in the rural areas, including zoning and public safety/sheriff patrols. The rural acreage of Washington County far exceeds the size of the urban area of the county.

Mission: Our mission is to provide excellent and cost-effective services that support healthy, peaceful, safe, and sustainable communities and encourage meaningful participation in community activities and county governance.

The Ideal Candidate

Washington County’s next County Administrator will be a proven local government leader, modeling high ethical standards, personal strength, and integrity. He or she will be a clear communicator and will work to establish and maintain effective relationships inside county government and with stakeholders, gaining their trust and respect. The ideal candidate will be able to craft a long-term vision with the County Commissioners and grow organizational capacity to meet future needs. This person will be able to think innovatively and demonstrate the agility needed to operate and adapt effectively in a dynamic environment. The next County Administrator will be fiscally prudent, recognize the importance of long-term financial forecasting, and be able to articulate the options for varying levels of service and their cost implications.

The ideal candidate will have a supportive, respectful management style that values staff members at all levels, helping the county focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization and its service delivery. This person will have a collaborative style and be an effective team builder, instilling confidence and pride in staff and recognizing and utilizing the talent and capabilities of county employees. The ideal candidate will be a strong leader who will set high standards, communicate those standards clearly, and hold staff accountable for results. The next County Administrator will create commitment through shared values, fostering a healthy, customer-focused culture in which people want to do their best and have the tools and latitude to do their best work.

The County Administrator will be an approachable, positive leader who is visible in the organization, provides guidance and mentoring to key staff, and fosters teamwork and problem-solving with department directors that are not bound by functional roles. He or she will be able to guide the highly engaged elected officials and staff in developing and articulating a strategic plan and ensuring it is implemented without impacting day-to-day service delivery. The County Administrator will partner with the Board and department directors to accomplish short and long-term goals, promote economic resiliency, and find creative solutions to complex issues that impact the county and the region.

Experience and Education

Minimum qualifications for this position are a bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of local government experience with some demonstrated leadership as an executive-level administrator/manager, assistant administrator/manager, or department director.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, ICMA-CM, strong fiscal expertise in long-term financial forecasting and alternative revenue development; experience building strong intergovernmental, business, and nonprofit partnerships; strategic planning and implementation experience; and sound human resource management skills. Proven experience and success in managing and leading in a complex, growing, metro area, working collaboratively on regional issues such as public safety, transportation, public health, homelessness, and affordable housing as well as operationalizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a multi-cultural environment, are also preferred.


After the time of his or her appointment, the County Administrator can reside outside the county only by express permission of the Board, as outlined in county code.

The Community


  • Population: 613,410 (2019 estimate)

  • Median Household Income: $74,033 (2013-2017 estimates)

  • Median Home Value: $331,700 (2013-2017 estimates)

  • Median Age: 36.4 years (2013-2017 estimates)

  • Total Area: 727 square miles (2018)

Demographic information was sourced from the 2018 U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates Program, 2013-2017 American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates, Portland State University Population Research Center, and 2018 Washington County Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Residents of Washington County have the unique privilege of engrossing themselves in some of the nation’s finest cultural amenities without forgoing access to picturesque natural landscapes. A beacon of originality, the Portland area is home to one of the nation’s most vibrant music scenes, internationally famous street food, an iconic microbrew culture, and a full calendar of events that is sure to provide year-round entertainment. Nicknamed the Silicon Forest, Washington County boasts Intel’s largest research and development location and share of employees and is the headquarters of Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Reser’s Fine Foods, and Leupold & Stevens. Washington County is Oregon’s second-largest county by population and one of the most diverse county populations.

Most of Washington County lies within the Tualatin Valley, formed by the Tualatin Mountains to the east and north, the Chehalem Mountains to the south, and the Northern Oregon Coast Range to the west and north. The county seat and largest city is Hillsboro, which is widely known for its concentration of high-tech companies and its minor-league baseball team – the Hillsboro Hops. Beaverton is the county’s second-largest city, and with a population just shy of 100,000, it consistently ranks among the nation’s best places to live.

Rural lands and forested areas surround the entire urban area of the county, and three small, rural cities on the outskirts of the county’s urban center account for approximately 1 percent of the population. While 56 percent of the county resides within the ten Metro area cities, another 38 percent live in unincorporated suburban neighborhoods. Over 30,000 residents live in Washington County’s large, rural areas of farm and forest land. The county’s vibrant agricultural economy is sustained through the growing of berries, grapes, and grains.

From hiking through lush forests and nature parks to enjoying the serenity of a day at the lake, outdoor adventure is never far away in Washington County. The Tualatin Valley’s pristine rural wetlands and nature preserves are a haven for bird and wildlife watching enthusiasts. The northern and western portions of the county are forested and sparsely populated but offer miles of trails and bike paths. Washington County enjoys the temperate year-round climate found throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Oregon’s scenic North Coast is located roughly an hour’s drive west beyond the Tillamook State Forest. Miles of rugged coastline and ocean beaches provide the perfect backdrop to view some of the world’s most diverse marine life. Neighboring Portland is famed for its unique cultural offerings and progressive environmental sustainability efforts.

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) serves the southeastern portion of the county, with rail and bus lines connecting Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, and Wilsonville to the rest of the Greater Portland region. The Port of Portland owns and operates three airports in the region: Portland International Airport, Hillsboro Airport, and Portland-Troutdale Airport. Portland International Airport was named the best large airport in the United States by Forbes in 2019. Instead of commercial flights, Hillsboro Airport offers flight-training facilities, corporate flight services, and airplane service businesses.


The expected salary hiring range for this position is $225,000 - $275,000. A competitive total compensation package will consider the candidate’s experience and expertise. Benefits offered to all employees include the following:

  • Medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance
  • Enrollment in the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System
  • Vacation, administrative, holiday, and sick leave
  • Washington County Wellness Program
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Free TriMet pass

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The recruitment posting will remain open until filled, with the first review of applications on February 7, 2020.


Candidates wanting to ensure confidentiality throughout the recruitment process should indicate as such in their resume and/or cover letter. The county will keep the records confidential subject to the provisions of public records laws.


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

Download Recruitment Brochure