Robert J. O'Neill, ICMA Executive Director
Robert J. O’Neill, Jr., is executive director of ICMA, the International City/County Management Association. Prior to joining ICMA in November 2002, O’Neill served as president of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) from January 2000 to November 2002. From May through September of 2001, O’Neill was on temporary assignment at the Office of Management and Budget as counselor to the director and deputy director on management issues.
Between 1997 and 2000, O’Neill served as Fairfax County executive, where he oversaw Virginia’s largest general-purpose local government and is credited with developing a series of successful community and commercial revitalization strategies. O’Neill’s “reinvention” of the government of Hampton, Virginia, where he served as city manager between 1984 and 1997, was widely recognized by organizations such as the National League of Cities and Public Technology, Inc.
In the early 80s, O’Neill served as 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.
O’Neill graduated summa cum laude from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1973. He received his master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1974, and in 2001, he received the institution’s highest honor, The Spirit of Public Service award. He is a 1984 graduate of The Executive Program of the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. In 1996 he was named recipient of the prestigious National Public Service Award presented by NAPA and the American Society for Public Administration. O’Neill was elected as a NAPA Academy Fellow in 1997 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from Old Dominion University in 2000.