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Mayor Bowser Announces Key Appointments

Thursday, January 28, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the following appointments and transitions in her Administration:

Appointments to the Cabinet

Kevin Donahue, City Administrator
With a long and distinguished career in District government, Kevin Donahue was appointed by Mayor Bowser as the Deputy City Administrator and the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice in January 2015 and has served as Interim City Administrator since in August 2020. During Mayor Bowser’s first term, Mr. Donahue oversaw the District’s public safety agencies, as well as the operations and internal support functions of government. Prior to joining the Bowser Administration, Mr. Donahue served as Director of the federal government’s Performance Improvement Council. In that role, he led the implementation of federal policies on using data and performance management to improve government services. Previously, Mr. Donahue worked at the General Services Administration, serving as Senior Advisor to the Administrator, and at the US Department of the Treasury, serving as the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Donahue previously served in the District Government under Mayor Adrian Fenty, as Director of the CapStat program.

Christopher Geldart, Acting Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice
Acting Deputy Mayor Christopher Geldart is a recognized leader in emergency management, whose in-depth experience spans municipal, state and federal agencies, as well as the private sector. He has led multiple District agencies during his tenure in District government. In 2019, he became Director of the Department of Public Works, leading the DC agency that provides the most traditional municipal infrastructure maintenance, and other services. Mr. Geldart served as Director of the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency from 2012-2017, where he led the planning and execution of three presidentially declared disasters and 20 national special security events. Prior to District service, Mr. Geldart served as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Director of the National Capital Region Coordination Office and as Assistant Director of the Maryland Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.

Christine Davis, Interim Director, Department of Public Works
Christine Davis is the General Counsel for the DC Department of Public Works. She has served the District in that capacity since June 2001. Since arriving at DPW, she has served four Directors during her 20-year tenure advising them on EEO, Personnel, Labor, Policy, Legislation, Ethics, FOIA and administrative adjudication among other matters. She has been designated as a Senior Hearing Officer by OAG, hearing its more complex matters and facilitating training for new attorneys. In addition to her General Counsel duties, Ms. Davis is an integral part of DPW’s management team where she has helped DPW move a number of initiatives forward, including, revamping the Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Removal Process, the establishment of the Grounds Maintenance Unit charged with mowing and maintenance of public space areas in the District of Columbia and upgrading the District-Owned Fueling stations. Ms. Davis began her career with the District in 1998 as a Prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the (then) Office of the Corporation Counsel. During her tenure with OCC, she became the District’s first full time Community Prosecutor. Ms. Davis led a group of attorneys assigned as community prosecutors and supported the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

Dr. Francisco Diaz, Acting Chief Medical Examiner
Dr. Francisco J. Diaz has served as the District’s Deputy Chief Medical Examiner since 2017. Dr. Diaz received his medical degree in his native country, Dominican Republic. After receiving his medical degree, Dr. Diaz trained in Anatomic Pathology at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania/Temple University. During his career, Dr. Diaz has performed more than 8,500 autopsies and testified hundreds of times in circuit, district and federal courts. He has also provided numerous civil depositions. Dr. Diaz is the author of 35 peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, and presentations and has been invited on numerous occasions to speak at regional, national, and international conferences. Dr. Diaz is board certified in Anatomic Pathology as well as Forensic Pathology and is a fellow of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME); where he serves on the membership, death in custody and government affairs committees.

Linda Harllee Harper, Director of Gun Violence Prevention
Linda Harllee Harper is visionary leader in social and criminal justice, currently serving as Senior Deputy Director to the Government of the District of Columbia’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) – the city’s cabinet level agency serving youth impacted by the DC Juvenile Justice System. Mrs. Harllee Harper started her career with DC Public Schools as a Substance Abuse Prevention Intervention Coordinator at the former Oak Hill Youth Center. For more than fifteen years, Mrs. Harllee Harper has successfully led and supported reform efforts in the District’s Juvenile Justice System, and is credited with launching a network of contracted local community-based providers designed to serve as an alternative to residential care or detention.

Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Emile C. Thompson, Commissioner, Public Service Commission
Emile C. Thompson is a native Washingtonian and Ward 4 resident, active in the community and serves several causes. Since 2016, he has served as a District of Columbia principal member on the DC Water board of directors, which oversees the agencies regulatory, environmental and operational functions. Mr. Thompson serves on DC Water’s governance and retail rates committees, where he has direct experience in rate setting analysis and critical regulatory matters. Professionally, Mr. Thompson is an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Prior to his work in the US Attorney’s office, he served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice in the Bowser Administration. In that capacity, Mr. Thompson advised the Deputy Mayor on policies and initiatives throughout the cluster. Mr. Thompson began his legal career as Law Clerk to the Honorable Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. of the D.C. Superior Court in 2010.


Mayor Bowser also announced the departures of Interim Mayor for Public Safety and Justice and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Roger Mitchell and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs (MOCA) Lamont Atkins, each departing for a new role outside District Government.

During Dr. Mitchell’s tenure at OCME, the agency’s profile and capabilities were broadly increased, including earing its first accreditation. Additionally, he played key roles in the District’s My Brother’s Keeper and Safer Stronger DC initiatives. His leadership has been invaluable, and District Government will miss his passion and commitment.

Mr. Akins joined the administration in 2015 as Chief of Staff and Director of MOCA and was promoted to Director in 2019. During his tenure providing guidance to the Mayor’s core constituent engagement program, implementing the Mayor’s Fresh Start and DC Values vision for constituent engagement and outreach in all 8 Wards. Mr. Akins also convened the Mayor’s Special Events Task Force Group to ensure coordination of essential municipal services in support of special events occurring on public spaces across government agencies.