City of Duncanville and City of Lancaster City Managers to be Inducted into the National Academy of Public Administration’s 2021 Class of Academy Fellows

The National Academy of Public Administration today announced that 39 leaders in the field of public administration have been selected for the 2021 Class of Academy Fellows. Induction of the new Fellows will occur during the annual Academy Fall Meeting, which will take place virtually and in-person at five host sites across the country November 3-9.

“I am very pleased to welcome the Academy’s 2021 class of Fellows,” said Terry Gerton, President, and CEO of the Academy. “Our distinguished Fellows are nationally recognized for their expertise in the field of public administration and this year’s incoming class is no exception. As government at every level continues to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to addressing public concerns regarding equity, the environment, the nation’s fiscal health and others, we welcome our new Fellows’ perspective as we work collaboratively to find intergovernmental solutions to the Grand Challenges in Public Administration.”

Two Best Southwest City Managers, Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides, City of Duncanville, and Opal Mauldin-Jones, City of Lancaster, were named in the announcement as 2021 Class of Academy Fellows inductees. The two City Managers will collaborate with 37 other Fellows to innovate and address the 12 Grand Challenges in Public Administration, which includes items such as Modernize and Reinvigorate the Public Service, Foster Social Equity, and Connect Individuals to Meaningful Work.

“The inclusion of Opal Mauldin-Jones and myself as part of the 2021 Class of Academy Fellows is a remarkable opportunity for the two of us to bring our unique experiences, knowledge, and connections to our communities to this collaboration,” said Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides. “I am excited to see what the Academy Fellows will be able to accomplish as we work together to address each of the 12 Grand Challenges and move our cities and our nation forward toward a brighter and more inclusive future.”

Opal Mauldin-Jones added, “It is an honor to be voted a 2021 Academy Fellow. It is unprecedented to have two City Managers from the same region. I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve my community and profession at this level”.

The National Academy of Public Administration helps government leaders solve their most critical management challenges. Since 1967, their congressionally chartered non-partisan non-profit Academy has provided expert advice to government leaders in building and managing more effective, efficient, equitable, accountable, and transparent organizations. The National Academy of Public Administration’s national network of over 850 Fellows includes former cabinet officers, Members of Congress, governors, mayors, state legislators, prominent scholars, business executives, and public administrators.

Selection of the Academy’s new Fellows follows a rigorous review of the individual’s contributions to the field of public administration and policy. A Fellows Nominating Committee, selected by the Academy’s Board Chair, makes its recommendations to the full Fellowship, which then votes on those individuals nominated to be a Fellow. The Committee was co-chaired by Academy Fellows Katherine Siggerud, Former Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Government Accountability Office, and Kendra Stewart, Professor and Director Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities, College of Charleston.

“The National Academy of Public Administration’s selection of Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides for the 2021 Class of Academy Fellows fills the Duncanville City Council and me with a great sense of pride,” said Duncanville Mayor Barry L. Gordon. “This induction into the prestigious group of public administrators is a well-deserved and appropriate recognition of both her and Opal Mauldin-Jones’ hard work and professional accomplishments.”

Lancaster’s Mayor, Clyde C. Hairston, also chimed in on this achievement, adding, “We are thrilled with the announcement of both Opal Mauldin-Jones and Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides on being selected into the 2021 Class of Academy Fellows. Being selected into this program is certainly no easy task, and this shows the hard work and dedication our City Managers have for the community, the profession, and the Best Southwest.”

The 2021 class joins more than 940 Academy Fellows – including former cabinet officers, members of Congress, governors, mayors, state legislators, prominent scholars, business executives, non-profit leaders, and public administrators.

Supported by a full-time professional staff, Fellows bring their insights, experience, successes, and lessons learned straight to the National Academy of Public Administration’s clients through independent thought leadership, in-depth studies and analyses, advisory services and technical assistance, congressional testimony, forums, and conferences.

About the National Academy of Public Administration:

Chartered by Congress to provide non-partisan expert advice, the Academy is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organization established in 1967 to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. Learn more at www.napawash.org

About the City of Duncanville:

Duncanville is a city in southern Dallas County, Texas, in the United States. Duncanville’s population was over 40,000 as of the 2020 Census. The City is part of the Best Southwest Partnership that includes Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Lancaster. www.duncanville.com

About the City of Lancaster:

Lancaster is a 33.150 square mile, 2019 All-America city located within Southwest Dallas County, Texas, United States. Lancaster’s population is 41,275 as of the 2020 census. Founded in 1852 as a frontier post, Lancaster is one of Dallas County’s earliest settlements. The City of Lancaster is part of the Best Southwest Partnership, including Lancaster, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Duncanville. www.lancaster-tx.com

Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides, City Manager
Opal Mauldin-Jones

City of Duncanville Announces City Manager Finalists


Duncanville, TX (November 13, 2020) – The City of Duncanville has narrowed the search for the next City Manager to two exceptionally qualified candidates.

On Saturday, November 21, 2020, the City will hold a Virtual Community Town Hall Meeting from 10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.  This meeting will allow residents an opportunity to ask questions of the finalists virtually.  The City Council will also have an opportunity to interview the finalists again on November 21, 2020, during a virtual meeting in Executive Session. 

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City Manager Kevin Hugman Announces Retirement Effective May 31, 2020

Kevin Hugman

Duncanville City Manager Kevin Hugman will retire from the city effective May 31, 2020 after serving five years in the position. Hugman formally announced his retirement to City Council at the November 19, 2019 Council meeting. He has served as City Manager since March 2, 2015.

“This decision has not been easy as I have enjoyed my time in Duncanville working alongside dedicated city council members and an outstanding staff of professionals,” said City Manager Kevin Hugman. “I am excited about the progress the city has made and the numerous infrastructure improvements that will improve the quality of life for Duncanville residents for years to come. Many projects contribute to the betterment of our community, including the new Kidsville/Splashpad, new park pavilions and restroom/concession buildings, street reconstruction projects, added emphasis on street maintenance, and a significant increase in capital replacement of aging water and wastewater lines”.

Notable accomplishments during Hugman’s tenure in Duncanville include tackling various infrastructure-related assets and projects, updating the city’s Comprehensive Plan, adoption of a new city logo and the passage of all four propositions during the 2018 Bond Election, including projects related to parks & recreation facilities, street improvements, firefighting facilities and municipal building improvements.  

Barry Gordon, Mayor for the City of Duncanville, said, “Kevin has been a huge asset to the Duncanville community, and over the years provided great experience, professionalism and stability to our city. We wish him and Susan the very best and that they may enjoy the fruits of retirement”. Mayor Gordon went on to say, “Regarding filling the City Manager position, the City Council agrees that undergoing a professional process and hiring a dedicated search firm will result in the most qualified candidate who will fit our community’s needs and its culture so that Duncanville’s progressive growth may be sustained in the future”.  

Kevin Hugman previously worked as the Assistant City Manager for the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, as well as in a variety of capacities at the city of Southlake, Texas, including Director of Community Services (parks, recreation, library services) and Director of Human Resources. Prior to that Kevin worked in the private sector for a few years before earning his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. Hugman also holds a B.S. degree in Architectural Engineering from University of Texas at Austin and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines. Hugman retired from the US Navy Reserves in 2007 at the rank of Captain after serving 26 years active and Reserve duty. He is married and has two adult children and six grandchildren.