Oakland County Executive David Coulter today announced the appointment of Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chief of Staff Chris Ward as a deputy county executive, filling the final vacancy on his executive staff.
Ward, 46, will assume his new role February 4. He has been chief of staff since 2016. He also served as chief deputy clerk and as a state legislator for six years.
“Chris Ward has been an invaluable partner to my executive team this last year,” Coulter said. “His knowledge of county government is unparalleled, and he will bring this unique strength to our executive leadership team.”
Ward said he was flattered and shocked to have been considered for the position.
“I had never given any thought to leaving the board,” Ward said. “I’m excited about this new opportunity to work with the county executive at this critical time.”
Coulter said Ward will use his knowledge of county government and 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 Oakland county initiatives.
“Chris has wide-ranging experience at almost every level of government that will be invaluable as we move the county forward,” Coulter said. “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 is a Waterford Township resident and has more than 28 years of service in local, county and state government, including 25 years as an elected or appointed official.
Ward was elected as a Brighton Township trustee in 1992 when he was 18. He has been a county employee since 2009 when he was appointed as Deputy County Clerk/Register of Deeds.
He was a state representative for the 66th district, representing the Brighton and Milford areas from 2003-2008. The boundaries have since been redrawn. While in the House, he was majority leader in 2005-06 and minority leader in 2007. He is a graduate of Cleary University.