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 232,000 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 progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow.

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 233,000 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

New Hanover County supports community through COVID-19

Posted April 9, 2020 at 11:50 am

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet

The past month has been an unprecedented and difficult time for our community. Businesses have had to close their doors; the way essential services are delivered has changed, and people are staying home and away from others instead of enjoying the typical spring-time gatherings that usually take place this time of year.

But the things we are doing now are so important because the COVID-19 virus is here in our community, and we must take precautions to prevent the virus’ spread to save lives and help our hospital system from becoming overburdened.

Things are different and we have a long road ahead of us. But I can tell you with confidence that through all of this uncertainty, New Hanover County and our Public Health experts have – and will to continue to be – there for our residents.

In February, a core team from the county’s Public Health, Emergency Management, and Communications and Outreach departments was established to lead the planning and response effort to COVID-19. And then our emergency operations ramped up in March, with enhanced planning and preparedness. It has truly been a collaborative effort from the start, with our preparedness and clinical Public Health experts at the forefront and serving as our subject matter experts.

On March 17, our Emergency Operations Center officially activated (although they had been working in a monitoring status since February). This activation included our Joint Information Center for public communications and a Coronavirus Call Center to answer questions from our residents who need guidance, health advice, or resources.

We have deployed Public Health Nurses to residents who need to be tested and do not have access to a physician’s office or insurance. We have monitored those in our community who have tested positive, we have checked in on their health and also worked to contact anyone who they have been in close contact.

We have secured additional personal protective equipment for our healthcare workers and our emergency responders – both from suppliers and also through the generosity of our community. As I write this, more than 27,000 pieces of PPE have been donated, including gloves, masks, gowns, and the like. We have an incredibly generous community and I have seen that in the past few weeks.

We have also increased restrictions on our community and our businesses. We have asked people to stay home and for many non-essential businesses to close their doors or move their services online or curbside. Thank you to our many businesses who have shown adaptability and innovative solutions during this time.

This is uncharted territory for all of us, but the teams at both the county and the city are actively working to answer questions from residents and businesses each day and provide updates through online frequently asked questions. You can view those and link to the city’s page at

The decisions to increase restrictions have been difficult to make, but Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman made them in coordination with all of the local mayors and with the guidance of our Public Health experts. I appreciate their leadership during this community crisis, and the collaboration they continue to show with one another.

Business Resources

I know many of our businesses, our tourism industry, and our residents are worried about their personal health and the health of their employees, and you are also worried about the health of your business or the organization you work for. The county is already in active conversations with the City of Wilmington and Chamber of Commerce about economic recovery for our community.

Now is the time to collaborate and use the strong partnerships we have in our community. After Hurricane Florence, the Chamber of Commerce set up a Business Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that provides clear communication to and from the New Hanover County EOC.  For more information and resources related to this business resource, visit the Chamber’s website. You can also take a survey to help the chamber and other partners assess the business needs emerging from the COVID-19 crisis here.

We are grateful to every business for your investment in our community, and we are committed to supporting you through these times. I encourage residents to continue your great support of our local businesses too – whether that is through online services, curbside pickup, delivery or gift card purchases.

County Resources

And while county employees continue to practice our core value of innovation by increasing our teleworking capabilities (we currently have more than 600 employees working from home), we are committed to providing the superior service you need and are accustomed to. One of those ways is to ensure our online platforms are able to serve you and provide the resources and information you need. Some of those include:

  • COAST, our online development services platform for Building Safety, Planning and Land Use, Engineering, Environmental Health, Fire Services, and land management.
  • Vendor Self Service, where you can register your business with New Hanover County so that we can call upon you to conduct business with the county. If you are a minority or women-owned business, I hope you will register and help us enhance our MWBE Program.
  • Library Online Resources, which also includes free business resources like industry and market research for your business. They also offer online chats with librarians to assist you as you research.

Another important resource during this time is our Public Health COVID-19 website, which provides comprehensive information around the county’s response to COVID-19, county restrictions, and important updates. Consistent communication is critical during these times and we are committed to getting the information into your hands as quickly as it happens. We provide updates consistently, which you can subscribe to via email here and on the county’s social media accounts (@NewHanoverCo).

I continue to be impressed by the dedication of our county employees who are ensuring these resources are available and who are continuing to serve our community in new and different ways each day. I feel proud to be a part of an organization that is supporting our community and protecting our citizens during these challenging times. And I thank each of you for what you are each doing individually and collectively to help our community get through these difficult days, weeks, and months together.

2020: A Year of Action, Initiatives in New Hanover County

Posted February 13, 2020 at 10:44 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners held the 2020 State of the County address on February 10 to a packed room at the historic … Read More »

Sewer and water along 421 creates corridor primed for growth and new jobs

Posted January 17, 2020 at 12:37 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet In business, in economic growth…if you build it, will they come? I think the answer, at least in the case of our industrial corridor on … Read More »

Minority & Women Business Enterprise Program Aims to Increase Economic Diversity

Posted December 4, 2019 at 12:47 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet Earlier this year, New Hanover County began working on an update to our Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program to help ensure a higher … Read More »

NHRMC’s future: where we are and where we’re headed

Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:32 am

By County Manger Chris Coudriet The future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) is a main topic of conversation throughout the community. I understand why – it is an … Read More »