Denise Turner Roth

Greensboro City Manager Denise Turner Roth

GREENSBORO — President Barack Obama appointed Greensboro City Manager Denise Turner Roth to be deputy administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration.

Roth, 39, will take the post Feb. 3.

On Tuesday night, City Council members appointed Deputy City Manager Jim Westmoreland to serve as interim manager, effective Feb. 1.

Turner Roth has been city manager since June 2012 and served as acting manager for about six months before then.

Roth said she was recruited for the position in November. The GSA is a federal agency that owns and leases government-owned buildings, preserves historic properties and provides government agencies with equipment like office supplies.

“It’s going to be an opportunity to learn a great deal,” Roth said.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said Roth’s promotion shows she was a great hire by the city council.

“Denise sets high standards,” Vaughan said. “She’s got great follow though. She doesn’t get frustrated easily, and I think she treats people fairly.”

Roth has worked for the city since 2008, when she was hired as an assistant city manager. She spent her early career working in Washington, D.C., where she grew up.

She worked for U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran and for the city of Washington, D.C.

In Washington, she was the public space manager for the Department of Transportation, a division that managed public access for utility and telecommunication companies.

Roth was picked for the federal job because of this experience, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a statement released by the city. Roth and Tangherlini worked together at the D.C. Department of Transportation and he recruited her for the job, she said.

 “Denise has an incredible track record of serving the American people at multiple levels of government and delivering effective and efficient services,” Tangherlini said.

The GSA was rocked with scandal two years ago, when it was revealed that officials there had held lavish conferences in the midst of the economic crisis. Tangherlini was charged with cleaning it up.

Roth said she was not looking for a new job.

“I wasn’t looking to move and actually have felt very strong in this position,” Roth said. “We’ve done some exciting things here.

Roth expects her last day in Greensboro will be Jan. 31.

She said it will be a priority to work out a management agreement for the planned downtown performing arts center and get the staff starting on this year’s budget process before she leaves.

Roth’s departure will launch the city council’s third manager search since 2009.

The previous city manager, Rashad Young, also left Greensboro for the Washington area. He is now the city manager of Alexandria, Virginia.

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Contact Amanda Lehmert at (336) 373-7075, and follow @alehmert on Twitter.

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