The Bureaucrat, Inc. - Board of Directors

Robert O'Neill

Robert J. O’Neill, Jr., is Executive Director of ICMA, the International City/County Management Association and the Chair of the Center for the State and Local Excellence, LLC. Prior to joining ICMA in December 2002, O’Neill served as President of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) from January 2000 to November 2002. From May through September of 2001, O’Neill was on temporary assignment at the Office of Management and Budget as Counselor to the Director and Deputy Director on management issues.


O’Neill served as Fairfax County Executive between 1997 and 2000. In that position, he oversaw Virginia’s largest general-purpose local government, and he is credited with developing a series of strategies aimed at revitalizing older residential communities and commercial areas within Fairfax County. In 1999, he launched a series of initiatives focused on performance and results management.


O’Neill’s “reinvention” of the government of Hampton, Virginia, where he served as city manager between 1984 and 1997 was widely recognized by organizations such as the National League of Cities and Public Technology, Inc. and by writers such as David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, authors of Reinventing Government. In the 1997 book Banishing Bureaucracy, by Osborne and Peter Plastrik, O’Neill’s efforts form the basis of a chapter on “Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture” in government organizations.


In 2001, O’Neill received The Spirit of Public Service award—the highest award presented by The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. In 1996 he was named recipient of the prestigious National Public Service Award presented by the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Society for Public Administration. In 1997 O’Neill was elected as an Academy Fellow.


In the early 80s, O’Neill was the Director of Management Consulting Services for the Virginia offices of Coopers & Lybrand, one of the former “big six” accounting firms. Previously he served as regional manager for the Management Improvement Corporation of America, providing financial analysis and organizational restructuring support for cities and counties throughout Virginia.


O’Neill graduated summa cum laude from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1973. He received his Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1974. He is a 1984 graduate of The Executive Program of the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. In 1999 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of Laws from Old Dominion University.