Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez Biography
Carlos A. Gimenez continues his lifelong commitment to public service after being elected to serve as Miami-Dade County's Mayor on June 28, 2011. As the County’s top elected official and chief administrator, Mayor Gimenez is responsible for the leadership and management of an organization with over 26,000 employees and an annual budget that exceeds $6 billion.
Mayor Gimenez brings decades of invaluable public service experience to the post, as well as a set of clearly defined priorities that reflect both his governing philosophy and the challenges of the current economic environment. His priorities include reducing taxes and shrinking the size of government, while preserving essential services such as public safety and programs for seniors and children. Mayor Gimenez is also focused on stimulating job creation, expanding international trade, and attracting businesses and industries to diversify Miami-Dade County’s economic base.
Prior to this election, Mayor Gimenez served on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for seven years. He was first elected on November 2, 2004 and subsequently reelected for a second term without opposition in August 2008. As Commissioner for District 7, he represented numerous municipalities, including the City of Miami, the Village of Key Biscayne, the City of Coral Gables, the City of South Miami, the Village of Pinecrest, as well as areas of unincorporated Miami-Dade County.
As a Commissioner, Gimenez served as Chairman of the Government Operations Committee, as well as Chairman of the Regional Transportation Committee, which oversees Miami-Dade County's transportation systems from a local and regional perspective. He also sat on a number of other committees during his time as a County Commissioner.
From May 2000 to January 2003, Mayor Gimenez was Manager of the City of Miami and was credited with helping to restore stability and integrity to that organization. As Miami’s Chief Administrative Officer, he was responsible for an annual budget of $500 million, a 4,000 employee workforce and provision of services to almost 400,000 residents. During his tenure as the City of Miami's top administrator, the City's bond rating went from "junk" to investment grade and the tax rate dropped to its lowest level in 50 years. At the same time, Miami was able to establish more than $140 million in reserves.
Prior to his appointment to City Manager, Mayor Gimenez spent 25 years with Miami's Fire-Rescue Department. The last nine of these years he served as the Chief of Fire-Rescue, during which time he was credited with modernizing the City's Fire Department and overseeing the largest reorganization in the department's history. He is a former member of the International City Managers Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association, the Florida Fire Chiefs and the Fire Officers Association of Miami-Dade. Mayor Gimenez also served on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue Advisory Committee and as the Chair of FEMA’s Legal Issues Subcommittee.
A longtime Miami-Dade County resident, Mayor Gimenez is an alumnus of Christopher Columbus High School and earned his Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration from Barry University. In 1993, he completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mayor Gimenez is married to Lourdes Portela. They have three children - Carlos, Julio and Lourdes - and two grandchildren.