City Council outlined a timeline for the city manager selection process, and Mark Jinks will stay in the position until a new hire is made.

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Alexandria City Council announced Wednesday it is launching the national search for a new city manager. City Manager Mark Jinks announced his upcoming retirement in June and will remain in the position until a replacement is hired. City Council expected the selection of a new city manager will happen by the end of 2021.

City Council has chosen the firm POLIHIRE to conduct a nationwide recruiting search. Members approved initial recruiting materials, including a recruitment brochure and timeline, during a closed executive session during the July 6 meeting.

The recruitment brochure gives an overview of the City of Alexandria, the government structure, responsibilities of the city manager, and recent major initiatives in the city. The brochure states candidates for city manager should have "demonstrated and verifiable record of inclusive, transparent, and inspirational leadership in guiding an organization and clear commitments to making a difference through public service."

Other qualifications include recognizing the importance of intergovernmental activities at regional, state, and national levels and having experience managing a city or county government similar to the City of Alexandria. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or preferably a master's or other advanced degree. The city manager will also be required to live in the City of Alexandria.

The nationwide search timeline starts with the city beginning to accept applications in July. The city is also conducting community and employee surveys through Aug. 31. In mid-September, community and employee town halls will be held with City Council, and applications will close at that time. The interviewing process will begin in October, and the selection will be announced in late October to early November. The new city manager would start in December or January.

"We look forward to working with the community, as well as City employees, to look beyond a simple job description, to clearly understand and articulate our shared vision and priorities for the City's next chief administrator," said Mayor Justin Wilson in a statement. "The hiring timeline for this critical position will allow for a thorough nationwide search, as well as community and employee engagement, as we work to recruit and hire an inclusive, transparent and inspiring leader and public servant for our community."

The community survey is open to residents, business owners, civic leaders, and those who frequently visit Alexandria for work, school, recreation or worship. City government employees will have a survey in English or Spanish to identify their vision and priorities for the next city manager.