Changes keep coming at the top of City of Greensboro government.

Assistant City Manager Kim Sowell was named Durham County manager by the Durham County Board of Commissioners on Monday, Feb. 28.

The vote by the Board of Commissioners to hire Sowell was unanimous.

Sowell has been with the City of Greensboro since 2015, starting as an organizational development specialist in the Human Resources Department.  In 2016 she moved to the Water Resources Department where she was the business manager, and in 2019 she was promoted to assistant city manager where she managed the departments of engineering and inspections, field operations, neighborhood development, planning, transportation and water resources.  Sowell also managed the Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) office, which meant at City Council meetings Sowell had to explain to Councilmember Sharon Hightower what the MWBE office had done and why for just about every contract awarded by the City Council.  

Sowell, in the city press release, said, “It has been my absolute pleasure to serve the residents of this great city and to work with the dedicated City Councilmembers and staff in moving the City of Greensboro to this exciting stage of exponential growth. The variety of projects I’ve managed has equipped me to embrace the role of County Manager of Durham County.”

Greensboro City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba started working for the City of Greensboro on Feb. 1 and has only been working with Sowell for a month, so the city press release has a quote from former interim City Manager and Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson, who has worked with Sowell for years as a colleague and as her boss.

Wilson said, “It has been an honor to work with Kim and watch her progress within the organization.  I commend her for the innovation and dedication she brought to our operations.  Durham County is gaining an exceptional leader who will take their vision to the next level.”

Although they sound similar, local government aficionados know that the jobs of city manager and county manager are extremely different.  One comparison is in law enforcement: In city government the police chief works for the city manager and in county government the chief law enforcement officer, the sheriff, is an elected official who works with but not for the county manager.