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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Appoints New Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of International Affairs

Post Date:08/01/2018 9:22 AM
Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303


Keith Whitney, Director
404-330-6612, office

Michael Smith, Press Secretary
404-546-1465, office
470-372-8752, cell


For Immediate Release: August 1, 2018

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Appoints New Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of International Affairs

ATLANTA -- Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced two appointments to the Administration’s Executive Team. Winfield Ward Murray has been named Deputy Chief of Staff and Vanessa Ibarra has been permanently appointed as Director of International Affairs.  

“Both Vanessa Ibarra and Winfield Murray have experience that will benefit our City greatly and I am honored that they are willing to be part of our Administration. Winfield’s most recent experience with HUD and familiarity with city government will be particularly valuable as we strive to ensure the availability of affordable housing and address blight,” commented Mayor Bottoms.  “Vanessa Ibarra has proven her ability to build and maintain productive relationships with our City’s growing international community, which is vital as Atlanta’s reputation as a great place to live and do business continues to attract new residents and investment from around the globe.”  

Winfield Ward Murray currently serves as the Associate General Counsel for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in Atlanta and, among other accomplishments, negotiated the largest settlement under the Fair Housing Act in Region IV within the last two decades.  Prior to his current role, he served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Atlanta and as an attorney in the Office of the Solicitor for the United States Department of Labor. In addition to practicing law, Murray has served as a professor at his alma mater, Morehouse College, since 2012 - leading the moot court team and teaching constitutional law.

Ibarra has served as Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs since 2017 and was named Interim Director in January of this year. Prior to that she was the City’s Chief of Protocol. She came to city government from the private sector, where she held positions including Director of International Accounts for international recruiting firm YER USA and North American Trade Advisor for Business France. Ibarra is multi-lingual and has lived in six different countries, including the United States. 

Murray’s appointment is effective immediately. Ibarra transitioned into her new position permanently earlier this month. 

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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Bottoms on Facebook and Twitter @KeishaBottoms

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