Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley to resign

She will continue to serve as city manager until July 10.

Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley to resign
Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley at a meeting in June 2023. Emilie Raguso/The Berkeley Scanner

Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley announced her resignation Monday after working for the city for nearly a decade.

City staff announced the news via email shortly after 4 p.m.

"After nine years with the City of Berkeley filled with significant accomplishments, Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley has announced her resignation to pursue new opportunities," the city said.

Williams-Ridley will continue to serve as city manager until July 10.

The Berkeley City Council will now "consider appointing an interim city manager in anticipation of hiring a permanent candidate," according to Monday's announcement.

Paul Buddenhagen set to return as Berkeley city manager
Buddenhagen was a top deputy in Berkeley before he left to become Emeryville city manager in January 2023.

Mayor Jesse Arreguin said Williams-Ridley had "worked tirelessly to uplift the community" since she was hired.

He credited her with helping to transform the city in a number of ways, from implementing technological advancements and improved customer service to adopting innovative policies and programs.

"She also led our city through some of its most challenging times, including the COVID-19 pandemic," Arreguin said in the prepared statement. "Her leadership during COVID helped save thousands of lives and protected our businesses and residents from displacement."

Arreguin described Williams-Ridley as an exceptional leader who had overseen the city of Berkeley with "great skill, compassion and vision."

"We wish her the very best in her future endeavors," he said. "Berkeley is a better place because of her."

In the statement, Williams-Ridley said she was proud of the work she had done in Berkeley.

"From award-winning projects to implementing groundbreaking initiatives, we have consistently pushed the boundaries and set new standards of excellence," she said. "I am profoundly grateful for the support and leadership from all elected officials over these past nine years."

In her statement, Williams-Ridley thanked the city's senior leadership team as well as "each and every employee of the organization, for their unwavering commitment, hard work and dedication."

She also said she had appreciated "not just the rewards but also the challenges" of working in the city.

Williams-Ridley was hired in Berkeley on an interim basis in January 2015 and was appointed to the city manager role permanently the next year.

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