Duncanville City Manager's Office
203 E Wheatland Rd., Duncanville, TX 75116
(972) 780-5000


Monday - Friday

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Duncanville City Manager's Office

Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides

Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides has served over 30 years as a public servant, marked with significant and successful community engagement, fiscal management, and economic development professional experience. Her vast experience spans municipal government to County, State, and Federal governmental expertise. She has demonstrated her versatility to adapt to organizations of different sizes and cultures during her career, having served in metropolitan cities like Chicago, Illinois to rural/suburban communities like Glenn Heights, Texas. The depth of this experience also encompasses communities that vary in size, diversity, regions of the country, and their socio-economic characteristics.

On February 22, 2021, Ms. Ferrell-Benavides began her third progressive appointment as the first African American City Manager of Duncanville, Texas. Ms. Ferrell-Benavides is also the first permanent female City Manager.

Prior to her current appointment, she served as City Manager for Petersburg, Virginia, and the City of Glenn Heights, Texas. While working in the City of Glenn Heights, Texas, she oversaw the City’s first-ever successful bond election and issuance. As City Manager for Petersburg, Virginia, she led the effort to return the City to fiscal stability and growth by increasing the fund balance from a negative $7 million to a positive $12 million. Working closely with the S&P Rating agency, her team increased the bond credit rating from a low of BB stable outlook to an investment A+ with a positive outlook amid the financial crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, with a greater focus on Economic Development, she led the way for greater economic diversification for Petersburg by securing the inclusion of the City into the federal opportunity zone. Through the expansion of Petersburg’s technology zone, the City engaged pharmaceutical company AMPAC Fine Chemical to expand its presence, resulting in a $350 Million federal contract to produce COVID-19 related medicines and the expansion of the site to accommodate two additional pharmaceutical companies.

She has spent considerable time in the Washington Metropolitan area during her career, where she previously served as the Deputy Secretary of the State for the District of Columbia. Serving under four Administrations, she held positions to include 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 and the Community Empowerment Cluster. From 1995 to 1997, she served as the Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Governor of Maryland.

In 1997 her career in local government led her to Chicago, Illinois. She served as a Mayoral Appointee working for the City of Chicago as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Chicago Housing Authority and as Chicago’s Assistant Chief Information Officer for the Department of Business and Information Services.

As part of her journey toward City Management in a Council-Manager form of government Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides previously served as the Assistant County Administrator for Los Alamos County, New Mexico. She managed the County’s Intergovernmental Program and Economic Development in that role. 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.

While completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she participated in the Central Intelligence Agency’s Undergraduate Intern and Graduate Fellows program focusing on Soviet Military Issues. At the same time, she served as the President of the Internship Program and was interviewed on the NBC Today’s Show regarding the value of her experience with the CIA. Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides held her first local government job with the City of Fort Worth in 1988 as a summer employee.

Previously, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides served on several Virginia intergovernmental boards, including Riverside Regional Jail Authority (Secretary-Treasurer), Crater Youth Correctional Center (Chair), South Central Wastewater Authority (Vice-Chair), Petersburg Area Regional Tourism, Appomattox River Water Authority, and Crater Planning District.

Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is committed to serving in the field of Public Administration and is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Texas City Managers Associations (TCMA), and induced as a fellow into the 2021 National Academy of Public Administration Class. Since 1988, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides has been a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), beginning with serving as the organization’s 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 ultimately serving as the organization’s 17th National President. Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is a 1995 Graduate of the NFBPA’s Mentor Program and a 1999 graduate of the Executive Leadership Institute. In 2017, she was awarded the Marks of Excellence Award. The Marks of Excellence Award is bestowed upon an African American Public Administrator who has achieved extraordinary success in public management. Early in her career, she 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 the profession and community.

Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is a Silver Star Life 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. She has also completed the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute and the 2015 Class of Leadership Southwest.


Duncanville City Council with the City Manager

On March 5, 2019, the Duncanville City Council formally adopted the FY 2019 Work Plan, which includes the Council's Mission Statement and the Six Capstones. This Work Plan identifies the major work items, in alignment with the FY 2019 Budget that will guide City Staff to implement and achieve the goals of the City Council. In addition, it serves to define the allocation and funding through the FY 2019 annual budget to implement the established goals toward future growth and governance of the City of Duncanville.

Welcome to the City of Duncanville