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City Council members on Friday winnowed to three the pool of applicants for the position of City Manager: Aretha Ferrell-Benavides, City Manager of Petersburg, Va.; Dr. Marie Peoples, Ph.D., M.P.H., Deputy County Manager of Coconino County, Az.; and Erika Storlie, who is currently serving as Evanston’s Interim City Manager.

Aretha Ferrell-Benavides

Aretha Ferrell-Benavides currently serves as the City Manager for Petersburg, Va., a position she’s held since 2017. Ms. Ferrell-Benavides was the City Manager of Glenn Heights, Tex.,. from 2014 to 2017. She  held several leadership positions with the Government of the District of Columbia, including Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Director of the Office of Neighborhood Action and Community Empowerment and the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth, Families and Elders. Other positions, Ms. Ferrell-Benavides has held in her more than 30 years of public service include Assistant County Administrator for Los Alamos County, NM, Assistant to the City Manager for Sunnydale, CA and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Chicago Housing Authority. She started her career as a graduate fellow for the Central Intelligence Agency before moving to Assistant to the Chief of Staff in the Maryland Governor’s Office. Ms. Ferrell-Benavides has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Marie Peoples

Marie Peoples currently serves as the Deputy County Manager for Coconino County in Arizona, a position she’s held since 2018. Prior to her current position, Ms. Peoples served as the Coconino County Chief Health Officer for the Public Health Services District from 2013-2018. In 2017, she was also the Interim Human Resources Director. From 2010 to 2013 Ms. Peoples was the Director of Public Health in the Cole County Health Department in Jefferson City, Mo., and from 2007 to 2010 she served as the Office Chief for Primary Care and Rural Health in the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. From 2005 to 2007, she was the Executive Director of the Carol Jones Recovery Center in Springfield, Mo. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College in Columbia, Mo.; a Master of Arts in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.; a Master of Public Health Epidemiology from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn. and a Ph.D. in Public Health Epidemiology from Walden University in Minneapolis.

Erika Storlie

Ms. Storlie currently serves as the Interim City Manager for the City of Evanston, a position she’s held since September 2019. Prior to her current position, Ms. Storlie served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Evanston from 2018 to 2019 and as the Deputy City Manager for the City of Evanston from 2013 to 2018. From 2010 to 2013, Ms. Storlie served as the Assistant to the City Manager/Citizen Engagement Manager for the City of Evanston. Ms. Storlie has a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Behavior from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Kent State University, in Kent, O.

There will be a public forum featuring the three candidates at 5 p.m. on Oct. 7. information on the search, including the registration for viewing the forum and to submit questions, is available on the City’s web site: https://www.cityofevanston.org/government/city-council/city-manager-recruitment