Texas Border Business
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The City of Brownsville City Commission names Helen Ramirez, AICP, as the new City Manager for the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), which boasts a resident population of more than 186,000. Mrs. Ramirez was selected from more than 30 candidates that applied for the position and was one of two finalists. The City Commission made the decision to extend an offer of employment during Executive Session of a Special City Commission meeting held January 9th. Mrs. Ramirez accepted the position and assumed the role of City Manager effective immediately.
“The City conducted an extensive search for the right person to bring the right leadership and the right experience for the City of Brownsville,” said Mayor Trey Mendez. “Helen by far exceeds those expectations. She is an outstanding leader and brings an extraordinary approach to municipality management, economic development, and strategic leadership. I look forward to continuing working with her and seeing what great accomplishments she will bring next to the City.”
The City Commission started the selection process in June by working with executive recruitment firm Mosaic Public Partners, a leading executive search firm, to perform a nationwide search for candidates. The city manager search included panels and interviews with a search committee comprised of members of the community and three City Commissioners, a comprehensive background investigation, and an extensive interview process involving the City Commission. The City received 32 applications, of which four candidates were internal. After a rigorous screening process of the candidates by the search committee, four candidates were selected based on applications, resumes, and experience for interviews with the search committee. Of these four candidates, the search committee selected two finalists to submit to an interview with the City Commission on January 3rd.
“It is an honor to be appointed as the City Manager for the largest city in the RGV. A community that is authentic, international, and culturally rich,” said Mrs. Ramirez. “We are witnessing a positive inflection in our history where we are strengthening our economy, creating employment opportunities for our intergenerational workforce, building upon our Strategic Vision that values Quality of Life, and creating a legacy for generations to come.” Serving alongside over 1,200 dedicated and talented employees is a privilege, together we will continue to build our future, On the Border, By the Sea, and Beyond.”
Mrs. Ramirez, who was serving as the Interim City Manager for the City of Brownsville, brings more than 20 years of experience in municipal government, urban planning, and economic development, including 10 years of experience working in the private sector. She was hired by the City in March of 2019 to serve as Deputy City Manager and also served, for a period, as the Executive Director & CEO of the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC). Prior to joining the City of Brownsville, Mrs. Ramirez served communities in Central Texas and Southern California.
In her role with the City, Mrs. Ramirez has been instrumental in accelerating economic growth, downtown redevelopment, overhauling development codes, preparing the City’s first Mobility Transportation Plan and strengthening its organizational culture.
Mrs. Ramirez holds a Bachelor of Science in City & Regional Planning from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. She has earned an American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification and is working towards an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification. She participates in the Texas City Managers Association (TCMA), is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). She formerly served on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (RGVMPO).