Mecklenburg County Commissioners on Tuesday promoted Assistant County Manager Dena Diorio to county manager, a permanent replacement for Harry Jones, who was fired in May. She takes over Jan. 1 from interim manager Bobbie Shields.
Diorio, 51, will be the fifth county manager, and the first woman to hold the job. She has worked six years for the county, starting in 2007 as finance director. After Jones’s departure in May, she was appointed an assistant county manager.
Commissioners on Tuesday praised Diorio for her leadership and, according to a county announcement, for her “willingness to be a change agent within the county.”
Diorio thanked commissioners for their “extraordinary support and confidence, saying in a statement: I look forward to working with each of you and being partners as we discover new and creative ways to serve the residents of Mecklenburg County. I have been part of the County for over six years; I love being part of this organization and I am thrilled, humbled and honored to serve as its new leader.”
“I am committed to working every day to bring distinction and integrity to the position and to represent all of the people of Mecklenburg County,” she said.
Diorio previously worked in the New York City government from 1988 to 1998, under mayors David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani, as well as in Stamford and Danbury, CT. Her last two positions in New York were director of City Legislative Affairs and deputy director of Infrastructure, Regulatory and Community Services. From 1998 to 2002, she served as director of the Office of Policy and Management for the City of Stamford and as the director of Finance and Human Resources for the City of Danbury from 2002 to 2007.
For Mecklenburg County, Diorio will oversee more than a dozen departments, 5,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.6 billion. Her contract calls for her annual base salary to be $228,000, plus $15,000 in deferred income, $6,700 per year in health insurance and a $1,100 monthly expense allowance.
Diorio has a bachelor of science degree in social services from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
RELATED LINKS AND COVERAGE
Dec. 17, 2013, MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, “Board Names Dena Diorio New Mecklenburg County Manager”