GREENVILLE, N.C. — City of Greenville City Manager Michael Cowin on Monday announced a pair of leadership changes for familiar faces within the organization.
Greenville Assistant City Attorney Dene’ Alexander will be transitioning to Assistant City Manager, and Assistant City Manager Ken Graves will become Greenville’s Deputy City Manager. Both moves were effective on November 6.
“I am excited to be working alongside Ken and Dene’ to advance the goals and priorities as adopted by our Council,” Cowin said. “Both Ken and Dene’ have years of local government experience and the type of leadership qualities that will serve to move our community forward.”
Alexander joined the City of Greenville in October of 2021. She has provided strategic support and worked closely with City leadership and staff, while focusing on economic development, procurement and contracting, engineering, property transactions, code enforcement, recreation and parks, public works, planning and development services, and serving as counsel to the Historic Preservation Commission.
Originally from Texas, Alexander has lived in North Carolina since 2009. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Spanish from Texas Christian University before graduating cum laude from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2012. Alexander has been practicing law for more than 10 years, and in addition to her role with the City, she is a North Carolina certified mediator and sits on the North Carolina State Building Commission as a Governor appointee.
“First and foremost, I am thankful for City Attorney Emanuel McGirt, who first believed in me,” Alexander said. “Without him, I would not be here at the City and set on a path for the opportunity to serve the City and the public in a new role as Assistant City Manager, for which I am thrilled and humbled. The level of faith City Manager Cowin has in me is immeasurable, and I am grateful for him and his vision and this opportunity. I am most looking forward to continued collaboration with City leadership, staff, and the community while stepping into a role that allows me to help guide the implementation of initiatives and create a meaningful, positive experience for everyone who interacts with the City of Greenville.”
Alexander was recently recognized by the North Carolina Central University as a member of its 2023 40 Under 40 Class for her significant contributions in public service and law. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, photography, writing, and spending time with family and friends.
Graves recently completed his sixth year as Assistant City Manager in Greenville. He has more than 25 years of local and state government experience, including more than 20 years of direct planning and managerial experience.
Graves began his career in municipal government in Greenville in March 2000 as a Planner I, a position he held until March 2002. At that time, he transitioned to a Planner II/Zoning Officer for the City until May 2003. Since returning to Greenville in September of 2017, Graves has provided oversight for multiple departments including Planning and Development Services, Public Works, Engineering, Human Resources, Financial Services, and Neighborhood and Business Services.
“I am honored to be promoted to Deputy City Manager,” Graves said. “I look forward to assisting our new City Manager in moving the City forward and continuing the great things former Manger Ann Wall established.”
Graves holds a Master of Arts in Geography and Planning with a concentration in Urban Planning from the University of Toledo and a Bachelor of Science in Geography from North Carolina Central University. He is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (NCAPA).