courthouse-clocktowerHere in New Hanover County, the community, elected officials and county staff cooperate to balance a high quality of life with a progressive business and economic climate.

At less than 200 square miles, New Hanover County is the second smallest – geographically – of the 100 North Carolina counties; however, it is home to more than 225,702 people.

New Hanover County is not just a great place in which to live or visit. New Hanover County is also a great place to do business. Tourism, film production, the service and retail sectors are the engines that power our economy.

Our Mission: New Hanover County is committed to providing equitable opportunities and exceptional public services through good governance to ensure a safe, healthy, secure and thriving community for all.

The government of New Hanover County is committed to ensuring that you are safe, healthy and secure; that is our promise to you.

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as chief administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government is operating on a $458 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022, serving more than 225,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the county to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the county’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior education and workforce, superior public health and safety, intelligent growth and economic development, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the county manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as assistant county manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Mr. Coudriet has twenty-five years of public administration experience, with fifteen years as a county manager or assistant county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

New Hanover County’s work is aligned with six shared values: Professionalism, Equity, Integrity, Innovation, Stewardship, and Accountability. The county’s employees consistently exemplify these values and go above and beyond in carrying out the mission to serve the county’s citizens.

Learn more about the county’s mission, vision, and strategy here.

New Hanover County has received the final economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and it’s critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

Manager's Message

County takes innovative, forward-thinking approach for pandemic operations

Posted November 19, 2021 at 8:37 am

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet

The past 20 months have been grueling for many of us. Among those most impacted in their workload and care for the community has been our Health and Human Services (HHS) team who has run the county’s operations for contact tracing, testing, vaccinations, education, outreach, and so much more.  

Their work has been intense and has involved the help of other county departments and staff, but it has been incredibly efficient, well run, and vital for our community.  

The volume and scale at which our county team has operated since March of 2020 is phenomenal, but it has taken them away from their regular daily operations and other important priorities (like school nurses pulled to be vaccinators at clinics, health leaders in the role of operations managers, and so many more). 

Even with COVID-19 transmission lower right now (which we are grateful for), their workloads are still increased, the help of our National Guard teams and volunteers is dwindling, and regular service and program expectations are even higher now than they were pre-pandemic.  

So we are now to a point that we must do more to ensure our staff can do their primary jobs and focus on county services, by developing a division within HHS dedicated to the continued pandemic response and preparation for any novel virus. 

This Pandemic Operations Team, which we are hiring for now using American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, is a proactive approach to begin managing in the context of COVID-19 being endemic, and the eventuality of different strains and other novel diseases that are not yet here or known at this time.  

They will be responsible for analyzing the epidemiological spread and containment of diseases and managing the operations and outreach plans for the current pandemic and any other public health crisis for New Hanover County. Team members will include an operations manager, planner, epidemiologist, outreach specialist, inventory technician, nurses, contact tracers, and data administrators.  

They will operate in an annex building across from the HHS building with a dedicated space for their work, planning, logistics, and vaccine operations. We envision this being the primary location for our vaccination clinic, which will require less staffing and logistics needs than we currently have being spread out among sites, and will also ensure we aren’t interfering with the work of our regular health clinic or HHS operations.  

We will be able to ramp this facility up if increased vaccinations or other pandemic-related services are needed, and we will now have dedicated staff to manage it. So as opposed to pulling staff in from HHS and various departments to be site managers, greeters, data entry specialists, nurses, supply agents, and more at the sites – we will have the staff in place already to operate efficiently and well from this location or at outreach events. 

I believe this innovative approach of a dedicated pandemic unit of HHS is among the first in the nation for local governments and is crucial given the ongoing needs in our community and the continued globalization and transient nature of our population, where viruses and diseases can spread more rapidly.  

We, as a county, will be better positioned to protect the public’s health with a dedicated team of experts focused on pandemic planning and response. It will enhance our services, increase our outreach and education for this and other health threats, and ensure we remain on the cutting edge to ensure the best possible future for our community. 

I appreciate all that our county team has done to protect the community throughout COVID-19 and am grateful for the Board of Commissioners’ support and ability to use ARP funds to make this new operations team a reality. 

You can view the county’s framework for this and other ARP investments at NHCgov.com/CovidRelief.


COVID-19 relief dollars directly benefit residents

Posted October 26, 2021 at 8:54 am

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet In April, the message I shared with you talked about the Commissioners approval of its strategy to utilize the $45.4 million in federal money from the American Rescue Plan to address … Read More »


Connecting Resources for Safer Schools and Community

Posted September 22, 2021 at 2:11 pm

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet Over the past few weeks, after a shooting occurred on the campus of New Hanover High School, I have taken a lot of time to … Read More »


Masks, Vaccines, and Workplace Safety

Posted August 24, 2021 at 8:49 am

August 24, 2021 By County Manager, Chris Coudriet The COVID-19 pandemic has been an exhausting, ongoing crisis. Those of us in New Hanover County are used to encountering a hurricane … Read More »


New Hanover County is top in the nation for good governance, innovation and best practices

Posted July 21, 2021 at 9:33 am

July 21, 2021 By County Manager, Chris Coudriet Amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic, New Hanover County staff continued serving the community, creating innovative programs and enhancing our services, … Read More »