The award was established in 1971 to recognize outstanding contributions to humankind.
Jones holds two Carolina degrees: a 1972 bachelor’s in political science; and a 1980 master of public administration. As an undergraduate, Jones was a student leader who was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, Order of the Grail, and Society of Janus.
“I’m truly honored to be recognized among such extraordinary fellow alumni,” Jones said. “To be given such an award by my alma mater is one of the highlights of my life and career.”
Jones has been Mecklenburg County manager since 2000. He administers an annual budget of $1.3 billion and oversees services delivered by 4,500 employees to 900,000 residents. Nearly his entire career has been devoted to public service. Before joining Mecklenburg County in 1991 as assistant manager, he held positions in Charlotte, Fayetteville, Raleigh and Dallas, Texas.
Jones was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a non-partisan organization chartered by Congress to assist federal, state and local governments in improving their effectiveness, efficiency and accountability. Jones is a former member of the University’s Board of Visitors and the 2009 recipient of the Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award, given annually at the Black Alumni Reunion.
Nominations for UNC's Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award are drawn from various entities across the campus. Recipients are recommended by the faculty's Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards and are approved by the Faculty Council and the Board of Trustees.
Other 2010 recipients include Dr. Larry Jameson, dean of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago; Judge Harry Martin of Asheville; Alane Mason, vice president and senior editor at W.W. Norton & Co. in New York; and Charlie Shaffer, vice president for institutional advancement at the Westminster Schools of Atlanta.
Mr. Jones’ biographical information is available at the County’s website.