BROWNSVILLE, TX – The Brownsville City Commission appointed Helen Ramirez as the new City Manager, with the challenge of accelerating the economic growth of one of the largest communities in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV).
Brownsville has a resident population of more than 186,000. Ramirez was selected from more than 30 candidates who applied for the position and was one of two finalists.
According to the City Council, the City Commission made the decision to extend an offer of employment during the executive session of a special meeting held on January 9, where 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 to the City of Brownsville. Helen far exceeds those expectations. She is an exceptional leader and brings an extraordinary approach to city management, economic development and strategic leadership,” said Mayor Trey Mendez.
The selection process began in June, the city manager search included panels and interviews with a committee comprised of community members and three city commissioners, a thorough background investigation, and an extensive interview process.
The city received 32 applications, of which four were internal. After a rigorous process of screening the applicants by the search committee, four profiles were selected, from which, two finalists were chosen to undergo an interview on January 3.
“It is an honor to be named City Manager of the largest city in the RGV. A community that is authentic, international and culturally rich. We are witnessing a positive inflection in our history where we are strengthening our economy, creating employment opportunities for our intergenerational workforce, building on our Strategic Vision that values Quality of Life, and creating a legacy for generations to come,” said Ramirez.
The new official was serving as Interim City Manager for the City of Brownsville, and 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.
Ramirez was hired by City Council in March 2019 to serve as Deputy City Manager and also served, for a term, as Executive Director and CEO of Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC). Prior to joining the City of Brownsville, she served communities in Central Texas and Southern California.
Helen holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. She has earned certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is working toward Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification.
She also 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 previously served on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (RGVMPO).