Mayor, Miami-Dade County
Carlos A. Gimenez is the Mayor of Miami-Dade – Florida’s most populous county. He is Miami-Dade’s highest-ranking elected official and chief administrator, who oversees a metropolitan government with 28,417 employees, an annual budget of approximately $7.8 billion, and serving 2.7 million residents.
Since assuming office in 2011 after a special election, Mayor Gimenez has continued to consistently hold the line on tax increases and to date, the average homeowner has saved approximately $1,400 in property taxes. He championed and secured approval for the largest tax cut in County history six years ago, and collectively Miami-Dade taxpayers have saved approximately $2 billion during his tenure.
Gimenez was re-elected as Mayor in 2012 and again in 2016 for two consecutive four-year terms. He brings with him over 40 years of public service experience.
Among the County’s 25 departments are the two largest economic engines in South Florida – PortMiami and Miami International Airport – as well as the public safety departments, Miami-Dade Police, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Corrections, and the Medical Examiner’s office. Collectively, between our airport and seaport, Miami-Dade welcomes over 50 million passengers a year, and the two facilities support either directly or indirectly approximately 600,000 jobs throughout South Florida.
Mayor Gimenez is currently overseeing a $12.6 billion infrastructure project for the Water and Sewer Department – the largest in Miami-Dade history. The 20-yearlong project includes utilizing state-of-the-art technologies that will improve the reliability and sustainability of the water and sewer system. This project will also contribute over 16,000 new jobs to the community over the course of the next ten years.
Prior to becoming Mayor, the Cuban-born Gimenez served on the Board of County Commissioners for seven years. He was first elected in 2004 and subsequently reelected for a second term without opposition in 2008. As Commissioner for District 7, he represented the City of Miami, the Village of Key Biscayne, the City of Coral Gables, the City of South Miami, the Village of Pinecrest, as well as unincorporated areas. He also served as Chairman of the Government Operations Committee and Chairman of the Regional Transportation Committee, which oversaw Miami-Dade County’s transportation systems.
From May 2000 to January 2003, Mayor Gimenez was Manager of the City of Miami and was credited with helping restore financial stability and integrity to that organization. As Miami’s chief administrative officer, he was responsible for an annual budget of $500 million, a 4,000-employee workforce and provision of services to almost 400,000 residents. During his tenure as Manager, the City’s bond rating went from “junk” to investment grade and the tax rate dropped to its lowest level in 50 years. At the same time, Miami was able to establish more than $140 million in reserves.
Mayor Gimenez spent 25 years with the Miami Fire-Rescue Department before becoming City Manager. The last nine years with the department, he served as Chief, during which time he was credited with modernizing the department and overseeing the largest reorganization in the department’s history.
Born in Cuba, Mayor Gimenez and his family moved to the United States in 1960. He has been a Miami-Dade County resident ever since. He graduated from Christopher Columbus High School and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Barry University. In 1993, he completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mayor Gimenez is married to the former Lourdes Portela. They have three adult children – Carlos, Julio and Lourdes – and six grandchildren.