Chris Ronayne (LC 2007)
County Executive, Cuyahoga County
Chris Ronayne is the third Cuyahoga County Executive and took office on January 1, 2023 with a vision for a Healthy Cuyahoga County with safe communities, good jobs, a fair justice system and excellent services.
Chris began his career in public service in 1996 with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission where he developed community reinvestment plans with municipalities across Cuyahoga County. He became Planning Director for the City of Cleveland in 2002 where he was the chief architect for the Cleveland Lakefront Plan. Chris was then asked to serve as Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer for Mayor Campbell overseeing over 5,000 employees and managing a budget of more than a billion dollars.
After his time at Cleveland City Hall, Chris served as President of University Circle Inc. (UCI) from 2005 until October 2021. UCI is the nonprofit Community Service Corporation that leads community development, education, and safety efforts in the University Circle neighborhood, Ohio’s fourth largest job hub and Cleveland’s center of arts and culture.
While at UCI, Chris partnered on $300 million in transportation improvements, over $6 billion of community redevelopment, delivered more than 2,500 new and renovated neighborhood homes to the area, developed after-school and summer programs that engaged more than 10,000 students each year, helped bring a grocery store to a food desert and connected small businesses to Cleveland’s arts, education and healthcare institutions. He has led initiatives ranging from the Cleveland Lakefront Plan to the Euclid Corridor and has partnered with local agencies on innovative projects like the Towpath Trail and the Cleveland-Europe Express container service.
Chris is a 40-year resident of Cuyahoga County, is past Chair of the Canalway Partners Board of Directors and the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors and served on the board of Destination Cleveland. He is married to Natalie Ronayne, Chief Development Officer for the Cleveland Metroparks. They live in Clevelandʼs Edgewater neighborhood with their two children, Audrey and Joe and their dogs, Max and Penelope.