The Coast News Group
Photo courtesy of the city of Carlsbad

Interim city manager selected for United Way executive job

CARLSBAD — Kevin Crawford, Carlsbad’s interim city manager and former fire chief, will be leaving his decades long career with the city early next year to be the new president and CEO of the United Way of San Diego County.


Crawford, who has served as fire chief since 2002, has been working temporarily as city manager since Oct. 31 after John Coates left the position for unknown reasons. He will start his new position with the charity organization after the city has selected a new city manager in 2014.

The city will be selecting a new fire chief as well, but officials have not decided on how they will fill the position, said city spokesperson Kristina Ray.

“Leading the United Way of San Diego County is a rare opportunity to cap my public service career with a national organization that improves the lives of people throughout the San Diego region,” said Crawford in a statement.

He started his career in Carlsbad in 1986 when he was hired by the fire department as a firefighter/paramedic, and advanced his career within the city over the next 28 years. His current annual salary is $217,695.

“As hard as it is to see Kevin go, we can’t help feeling proud that now the entire region will benefit from his considerable leadership gifts,” said Mayor Matt Hall in a statement.

Having served on United Way’s board of directors for five years, he will be taking over for retiring president and CEO Doug Sawyer.

United Way is one of the largest charities in the United States and works with the public and private sector on issues including education, income, health, and homeless prevention. The nonprofit has operated in San Diego County since 1920

“Kevin has a deep understanding of United Way’s role in the community and our strategic vision. He brings strong leadership and fundraising skills to the organization,” said Jon Vance, the chair of the organization’s board of directors, in a statement.

Crawford has served as a member of numerous community organizations and currently is a member of the board of directors of LEAD San Diego, 211-San Diego, Jammer Family Foundation and Hospice of the North Coast as well as the chairperson for San Diego and Imperial County’s Regional Communication System and Scripps Encinitas Community Advisory Board.

Prior to his work with the city, he earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Santa Ana College, completed the fire protection administration program at San Diego State University, and received his juris doctorate from Western Sierra Law School.