At a special public hearing on Friday, June 3, the Adams County Board of Commissioners appointed Noel Bernal as County Manager.
Bernal comes from the City of Brownsville, Texas, where he has served as City Manager since 2018. He will start with the county on Monday, Aug. 8.
“We are thrilled Noel will be joining us to lead the Adams County team,” said Lynn Baca, Chair of the Adams County Board of Commissioners. “With his background, leadership experience, and commitment to serving the public, we are confident Adams County will continue to thrive and foster future growth opportunities.”
“I am honored to join a best-in-class community and organization in Adams County,” said Bernal. “My professional values align with the strong leadership and innovative culture already in place. I’m prepared to serve and harness the talents of our organization as we boldly advance Adams County into the future.”
Bernal has served communities in South, Central, and North Texas throughout his professional career in public service in an executive leadership capacity, including as City Administrator of La Villa; serving as the first City Administrator of Falfurrias; Assistant City Manager for Taylor, a growing suburb in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area; and Deputy City Manager for Coppell in the Dallas Fort-Worth metropolitan area.
Since 2018, Bernal served as City Manager for the City of Brownsville, the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas with an estimated population of more than 185,000. He reported to the Mayor and City Commission, providing leadership and management to over 1,400 employees, a $162.3 million operating budget, and 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Program of over $119 million, including an International Bridge, Brownsville-Metro transit system, and Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport.
Under his leadership, the “Total Alignment” High-Performance Organization (HPO) Culture framework was implemented, leading to innovations including creation of a NewSpace City strategy establishing the Brownsville Air & Space campus, a public/private middle-mile community broadband investment of $90 million to close the city’s digital divide, and various growth and development initiatives to improve the community’s long-term financial sustainability. He was awarded the 2022 Texas City Management Association (TCMA) Administrator of the Year award for contributions made to his community and profession.
Bernal earned an undergraduate degree and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas Pan American. He is a Credentialed Manager through the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), a Certified Public Manager through the William P. Hobby Center for Public Service at Texas State University, a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia, and has completed the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.
His professional involvement includes being a member of ICMA serving as Chair of the Technology and Innovation Advisory Committee, and a member of TCMA where he served as Chair of the TCMA Allies Task Force, a state-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion effort for Texas cities. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Local Government Hispanic Network (LGHN), Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) as ICMA representative, and will soon end his service on the Board of Trustees for the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool (TMLIRP).
Noel is married and has a son and two daughters.