On July 10, 2017, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides was appointed as City Manager for the City of Petersburg, Virginia. As City Manager, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the City and reports directly to Petersburg City Council. Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides has more than 25 years of professional experience at all levels of government.
Prior to her arrival in Petersburg, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides served as the City Manager for the City of Glenn Heights, Texas since May 2015.
Additionally, she served as the Deputy Secretary of the State for the District of Columbia. She also previously held several positions to include serving as the Chief Operating Officer for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation; Chief of Staff for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth, Families and Elders; and Director for the Office of Neighborhood Action & the Community Empowerment Cluster.
With a true commitment to government, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides previously served as the Assistant County Administrator for Los Alamos County, New Mexico. In that role, she managed the County’s Intergovernmental Program and Economic Development. For the City of Sunnyvale, California, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides served as the Assistant to the City Manager, where she oversaw Sunnyvale’s Intergovernmental and Legislative programs.
From 1989 to 1995, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides worked with the Central Intelligence Agency as an undergraduate intern and later as Graduate Fellow focusing on Soviet Military Issues. Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides held her first local government job with the City of Fort Worth in 1988 as a summer employee.
From 1995 to 1997, she served as the Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Governor of Maryland. From 1997 to 2002, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides worked for the City of Chicago, as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Chicago Housing Authority and Assistant Chief Information Officer for the Department of Business and Information Services.
Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is committed to serving in the field of Public Administration and is a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Since 1988, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides has been a faithful and supportive member of the NFBPA, beginning with serving as the organizations student representative on the national board of directors and later serving as President of the Chicago Chapter, Vice-President of the Council of Presidents, National Secretary/Treasurer, 2nd Vice-President, 1st Vice-President, and National President.
Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is a 1995 Graduate of the NFBPA’s Mentor Program and 1999 graduate of the Executive Leadership Institute. In 2002, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides was awarded the NFBPA Young Public Administrator of the Year Award. This is a nationally competitive award recognizing an administrator, under age 35, who has demonstrated an above-average commitment and success in both profession and community.
Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Howard University in Washington, DC.
Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. She is married to Ted Benavides, and is the proud mother of Geoffry Alexander.