Chris Ward, chief of staff of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, has been appointed a deputy county executive by David Coulter, Oakland County executive. Ward fills the final vacancy on Coulter’s executive staff.
Ward will assume his new role on Feb. 4. He has been chief of staff since 2016 and served as chief deputy clerk and as a state legislator for six years.
“Chris has wide-ranging experience at almost every level of government that will be invaluable as we move the county forward,” Coulter says. “He is well-respected by the board and certainly knows his way around the legislative process and the state capitol, and he knows us. I’m excited to have him as part of our team.”
Ward will focus on strategic policy initiatives, improving and facilitating relations with the board and the administration; oversee and manage state and federal policy development, and act as a liaison with other county-wide offices on executive priorities. He will also lead strategic relations with partner organizations to advance county initiatives.
With more than 28 years of service in local, county, and state government, including 25 years as an elected or appointed official, Ward’s career began when he was elected as a Brighton Township trustee in 1992 when he was 18 years old. He has been a county employee since 2009 when he was appointed deputy county clerk/register of deeds.
Ward served as a state representative for the 66th district, representing the Brighton and Milford areas from 2003 to 2008. The boundaries have since been redrawn. While in the State House, he was majority leader from 2005 to 2006, and minority leader in 2007. He is a graduate of Cleary University in Howell.