January 4, 2013

City of Portland photo

Sheila Hill-Christian

Portland names new deputy city manager

By Randy Billings
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Sheila Hill-Christian of Richmond, Va., has been appointed deputy city manager of Portland – a new position created to provide better oversight and support to critical city departments, the city said in a news release Friday.

If confirmed by the City Council as expected, Hill-Christian will oversee some of the city's largest departments, including police, fire, health and human services, public services, recreation and facilities management, parking and the Portland International Jetport.

"Her commitment to public service and ability to tackle challenging issues in a creative and ingenious manner will service Portland well in our continued effort to improve the delivery of city services," City Manager Mark Rees said in a written statement.

Portland previously had two assistant city managers who had general management roles at City Hall. One of those posts has been vacant and will be replaced by the new deputy manager, whose job will include direct oversight of specific administrators and departments.

Hill-Christian currently leads the Hill-Christian Consulting Group in Richmond, which provides services to municipal and nonprofit agencies.

Prior to that, she worked at a variety of municipal and quasi-municipal agencies, including a stint as chief administrative officer for the mayor of Richmond. There, she managed day-to-day operations of all city departments and agencies, overseeing a budget of more than $1 billion.

She has also served as the executive director of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and chief operating officer of the GRTC Transit System, among others.

"Sheila will bring extensive municipal experience in a variety of environments," Rees wrote. "I am confident that in this role, she will foster a culture of coordination and innovation by providing attention and support to these critical departments."

Hill-Christian holds a bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master's in business administration from Averett University.

Hill-Christian would earn a salary of $125,000. The City Council will decide whether to confirm Rees' appointment at its Jan. 7 meeting. She is scheduled to start work on Feb. 4.

Staff Writer Randy Billings can be reached at 791-6346 or at:

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