Bob O'Neill

Instructor and Riley Fellow

bob picture Robert (Bob) O’Neill, MPA Syracuse University
Mr. O’Neill joined the College of Charleston in 2018 as a Riley Fellow and an MPA adjunct professor. He grew up in an Air Force family and lived throughout the US, France, and Germany. He started his public service career as a 20-year-old intern in the City Manager's Office in his hometown of Hampton, Virginia. The work was exciting and a career interest in effective government was launched. Mr. O’Neill completed his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Old Dominion University and earned an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He returned to Hampton after graduate school and held several positions, becoming the City Manager in 1984. Getting an opportunity to be the Manager in your hometown is a wonderful and humbling opportunity. The “reinvention” of Hampton during his thirteen-year tenure was widely recognized and described in several books and publications. Mr. O’Neill was the County Executive of Fairfax County, Virginia from 1997-2000 and focused on financial restructuring and revitalizing older areas of the County. In 2000, he became the President of the National Academy of Public Administration and in that capacity served as Counselor to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for management issues from May to September of 2001. In 2002, he was named Executive Director of ICMA. Mr. O’Neill led efforts to develop leadership and management development programs for local government professionals and provided technical assistance and support to local governments around the world. Among Mr. O’Neill’s commendations are the National Public Service Award from ASPA/NAPA, the Spirit of Public Service Award from the Maxwell School, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Old Dominion University. He is married to Karen, a retired nurse and professional chef, and is the father of four daughters, and grandfather to seven wonderful grandkids! Mr. O’Neill can be reached at