Alexandria hires next city manager

Alexandria’s new city manager will come by way of Texas.

James Parajon
James F. Parajon has been hired as Alexandria’s city manager. (CourtesyAlexandria government)

The Alexandria City Council on Wednesday held a special meeting to appoint James F. Parajon to succeed the historic Northern Virginia municipality’s outgoing manager Mark B. Jinks, who will retire this January.

Parajon boasts more than a decade in city service with Arlington, Texas, and almost three decades of experience as a professional planner. Since 2006, he has served in a wide range of roles including oversight for the Dallas-area city’s asset management, economic development, real estate services, civil engineering, federal grant programs and housing authority.

“A nationwide search for our next city manager was shaped by input from Alexandria residents, business owners and city staff to find the right combination of strengths, experience and qualities to lead Alexandria’s city government,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said on Parajon’s appointment.

“With input through surveys, town halls and review panels, the city council sought to find a candidate who would reflect our values, and we found that in Jim Parajon.”

Among his first tasks will be to work with city council members in shaping Alexandria’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget over the coming weeks.

A news release from the Alexandria government touted Parajon’s track record in advising local officials and business leaders in development, design and growth policies. He also managed planning functions for private consulting firms including URS Corporation and Buchart Horn.

Before his time in Texas, Parajon worked for the North Carolina cities of Raleigh and Cary. His new job in Alexandria will mark his return to the East Coast.

Raised in Poughkeepsie, New York, Parajon earned his master’s degree in regional planning at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He will soon move to Alexandria together with his wife, Elizabeth, and has two children who are attending university.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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