Mayor appoints Susan Norton as chief of staff following resignation of Don Marr

Susan Norton / Courtesy

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan has appointed Susan Norton as his new chief of staff following the resignation of Don Marr.

Marr plans to move to Virginia to be closer to family and continue his human resources and operations career, Jordan said.

Norton has been the city’s communications director since 2015, overseeing the city’s Communications and Media Services departments. She will begin serving in her new role on Feb. 3.

Marr was Jordan’s first hire in 2009.

“I am thankful for Don’s years of leadership and service to the City of Fayetteville,” said Jordan. “We value his accomplishments and support his decision to step down for family reasons. We wish him and his family the very best.”

Marr has lived in Fayetteville for 32 years, and called the city one of the best places in the world.

“I have had the wonderful experience of working for the best boss anyone could ever have, and with staff and City Council members who wake up every day to make Fayetteville a better place,” said Marr. “It’s truly been a rewarding professional experience.”

The chief of staff is responsible for implementing policy directives from the mayor and City Council, and works directly with the mayor to supervise the administrative leadership team to deliver city services, develop budgets, oversee initiatives and implement master plans.

As a member of the mayor’s leadership team, Norton currently works in policy analysis and serves as liaison to both state and federal legislators on a variety of municipal advocacy initiatives, including committee roles with the Arkansas Municipal League and the National League of Cities. She is the primary liaison with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Public Schools and external media outlets.

“I have known Susan Norton for more than 40 years, stretching all the way back to the University of Arkansas,” said Jordan. “I cannot think of a better appointment for this city’s next chief of staff. She is intelligent and organized, an excellent communicator and a reliable leader with proven management skills that will help take our leadership team to new levels. I rely on her as my policy counselor and will continue to depend on her to help with Fayetteville’s lobbying efforts to maintain our leadership position and to advocate for local control in Arkansas.”

A 47-year resident of Fayetteville, Norton earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Arkansas. She currently volunteers in executive leadership roles for the nine-state MidAmerica GIS Consortium and the Arkansas Academy of Computing.

Her career spans 38 years in public service at varying levels of leadership at the University of Arkansas, the State of Arkansas, Fayetteville Public Schools and the City of Fayetteville.

“Susan is an excellent choice by Mayor Jordan,” said Missy Cole, the city’s human resources director. “Susan has a passion and commitment that will continue positioning Fayetteville as a leader in our region, state and nation.”