Phoenix, Arizona - Governor Doug Ducey Thursday announced the appointment of Gilbert Davidson to serve as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the State of Arizona. Davidson, a dedicated and effective public administrator, currently serves as the Town Manager of the Town of Marana - a position he was appointed to in 2008. He began his tenure at Marana as deputy town manager in June 2005.
As COO, Davidson will serve as a member of Governor Ducey’s senior staff and oversee operations of all state agencies. He replaces Henry Darwin, who left the administration in July to serve as COO for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.
“Gilbert has earned a reputation as a consummate professional, who has driven results and led Marana through growth and expansion,” said Governor Ducey. “As we work to make government more effective and accountable, Gilbert will lead continued efforts to reduce bureaucracy and maximize efficiency within state agencies — ensuring state government is working for all Arizonans.”
“I’m honored to join Governor Ducey’s team with the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of people across our state,” said Davidson. “During Governor Ducey’s tenure, state government has a renewed focus on efficiency, accountability, and ensuring that Arizonans get the most out of their investments in state agencies. I look forward to working with our agency directors and state employees to continue this important work.”
During Davidson's tenure as town manager, Marana experienced a rapid population increase of over 10,000 people in a 12-year timespan. As one of the fastest growing communities in the state, Davidson has laid the groundwork for continued strategic development by securing water and wastewater infrastructure, and establishing future development zones including promoting the future Downtown Marana district and the redevelopment of north Marana.
Davidson’s ability to solve complex issues by bringing together teams and transforming government operations has led Marana to improve its overall government performance even during the economic recession by focusing on the foundational elements and essential services of local government. Davidson’s creation of the Marana’s Strategic Plan transformed the organization to think critically about community impacts, while improving citizen engagement, personnel management and customer service.
“Gilbert’s impact on Marana has been essential to creating an organization that responds quickly and efficiently to its residents,” said Town of Marana Mayor Ed Honea. “He has set this organization on a path for continued success even after his time here at the Town, which is a credit to his management style and passion for public service."
Davidson is a 1998 graduate of the University of Arizona with bachelor’s degrees in business administration and public administration. He earned a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the UA in 2004.
In 2009, Davidson completed a certificate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. In addition, he is a credentialed city manager recognized by the International City/County Management Association.
Davidson is also actively engaged in community and civic organizations. He served on the executive board for Arizona Town Hall, as past president of the Arizona City/County Management Association, the advisory board for the Joan & David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University, the University of Arizona Public Administration Advisory Board, and is currently the Vice Chair for the University of Arizona Alumni Association.