Jimmy L. Morales was appointed as city manager for the City of Miami Beach effective April 1, 2013.
Morales has nearly 20 years of experience in government serving as a local attorney, administrator and public servant. His significant roles in government administration and elected office have earned him a reputation as an advocate for citizens and ethics. Now, the accomplished attorney is committed to bringing his passion for executive leadership and serving others to his hometown as the city manager for Miami Beach.
Born and raised in Miami Beach, Morales graduated as salutatorian from Miami Beach Senior High School. In 1984, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1987.
After finishing law school, Morales served as a judicial law clerk, and later held associate and shareholder positions in several international law firms specializing in corporate and international law. Morales was a shareholder and a member of the board of directors at the Miami law firm of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. His practice specialized in municipal law matters. During that time, Morales served as the city attorney for the City of Marathon, and then city attorney for the City of Doral.
Although an accomplished attorney, Morales is most recognized for his career in public service. Morales served on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for eight years. He was elected in October 1996 and re-elected to a second term in 2000, during which he represented District 7, including South Miami, Key Biscayne, portions of Miami, Coral Gables and Pinecrest. In 2004, Morales ran for Mayor of Miami-Dade County, but was defeated in a runoff.
During his tenure at the county, Morales developed an expertise in budgetary and government law topics, sponsoring noteworthy legislation to protect the use of taxpayer dollars, reform campaign finance regulations, eliminate unethical practices, promote youth sports and boost transportation for the elderly and disabled population. His proven leadership skills and commitment to the community resulted in appointments to lead county planning and advisory committees on government efficiency, budget and finance matters.
Morales has always served his community in one capacity or another. Through the years, Morales has dedicated his spare time to helping others by sitting on the boards of not-for-profit organizations such as Autism Speaks, Dade Community Foundation, American Red Cross, South Florida National Parks Trust, the Silver Knight Alumni Legacy Network and the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. He is also a graduate of Leadership Miami and Leadership Florida programs.
His service has earned him prestigious accolades including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Bill Colson Leadership Award for Outstanding Leadership and Superior Ability, Public Servant of the Year recognition by the Colombian American Service Association in 2004, and SAVE Dade Champion of Equality in 2006. Morales was inducted into the Miami Beach High School Hall of Fame in 2004.
While Morales takes pride in working long hours, he also strongly believes in striving for balance in work and family life, which is why he always makes time for his family, wife Dori, daughter Nora, and son Peter. Morales currently resides in Coral Gables.