Verdenia Baker

County Administrator, Palm Beach County, Fla.

As county administrator, Ms. Baker manages the daily operation of the Palm Beach County government. Palm Beach County is one of the few counties in the nation with AAA general obligation bond ratings from all three rating agencies and has a population of more than 1.5 million persons. Baker holds a B.S. in Rehabilitative Services and an M.S. in Public Administration, both from Florida State University. She began her career with the county in 1987 as a budget analyst. She was later promoted to a division director position with the county Financial Management Department. Baker's financial management experience was a prelude to her promotion to assistant county administrator and, within a year, to deputy county administrator. She served in that capacity for 15 years before being selected as county administrator.