Wake County Hires Chief Community Health and Economic Vitality Officer

Duane Holder

Wake County Manager David Ellis announced today that he has hired a new Chief Community Health and Economic Vitality Officer. Duane Holder will assume the role on June 1, bringing more than 20 years of public health, social services, behavioral health and budgetary leadership experience to the county.  

“We conducted a nationwide search for the right person for this important position, and Duane was – by far – the most qualified candidate,” said Ellis. “Not only does he have an impressive resume, but he’s also worked for local governments in North Carolina for 15 years, giving him a keen awareness of the regulations we must follow and how to respond to crises such as COVID-19.” 

In his new position, Holder will oversee Wake County’s Human Services, Environmental Services, and Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization departments. He will also liaise with Wake County’s Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Wake County Center of the NC Cooperative Extension. 

Holder previously served as Deputy County Manager in Cumberland County, NC where he oversaw development of the budget, public health and social services, child support enforcement, community development, veterans’ services, senior employment services and pretrial services, and co-facilitated the county’s COVID-19 response. Prior to that, he was Cumberland County’s Interim Public Health Director, implementing a strategic plan that prioritized health goals for the community.

Holder also served as:

  • Assistant County Manager for Community Support Services in Cumberland County; 
  • Deputy County Manager and Chief Financial Officer for Pitt County, NC; and 
  • Administrative Services Director for the Pitt County Mental Health Area Program. 

“I’m excited to join the Wake County team and put my decades of public sector experience to good use in one of the fastest growing counties in the country,” said Holder. “I look forward to finding new ways to improve residents’ health and wellbeing, while helping the most vulnerable in our community get the support they need to achieve a higher quality of life.”

From 2004 to 2012, Holder served as co-founder and Chief Financial Officer for PORT Health – a regional public non-profit behavioral health and human services provider agency based in Greenville, NC specializing in mental health and substance abuse support.

He is also a U.S. Air Force veteran. Holder served from 1990 to 1996 as a Chinese Cryptologic Linguist during Operation Desert Storm.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Mount Olive College and his Master of Public Administration from East Carolina University. Holder is also a credentialed manager by the International City/County Management Association.

Press Release