County administrator to retire

Hennepin County Administrator Richard P. Johnson announced July 11 that he will retire from the county at the end of the year.

Johnson was appointed county administrator by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners in August of 2007, after serving as acting county administrator since April of that year. He was first employed by the county as deputy county administrator in January of 2000.

The county administrator oversees all aspects of the general management of county government and answers directly to the board. The county has a workforce of more than 8,000 and a 2012 budget of $1.65 billion. The county administrator makes recommendations to the board, implements county policy, and provides leadership to the entire organization – overseeing virtually every aspect of county finances, programs, policies and procedures.

"Hennepin County is the largest unit of local government in the state – overseeing its management is an enormous responsibility," said Hennepin County Board Chair Mike Opat. "Richard’s steady and competent leadership through very difficult budget challenges, historic transactions such as the library merger, development of Target Field, and governance at Hennepin County Medical Center, has been superb. Richard has also worked to continuously improve our delivery of public services and make clear our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We have been extremely fortunate to have him."

"It has been my privilege to serve the residents of Hennepin County," said Johnson, "and to work with a visionary and supportive county board and a highly competent and committed staff."

Prior to joining Hennepin County, Johnson worked for the Metropolitan Council as chief operating officer, chief financial officer, and associate regional administrator serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. Prior to that, he served as chief financial officer for Dakota County. Johnson has both undergraduate and master’s degrees in economics from South Dakota State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas.

The county board will begin the process and pursue the next steps to recruit a new county administrator.