City Manager Finalists


The DeSoto City Council has announced the selection of three finalists to serve as DeSoto’s next City Manager and is inviting residents to come to City Hall on Thursday evening, April 18, for an informal meet and greet with the candidates. 

“The person that we select as City Manager will lead DeSoto for several years and guide projects and policies that will shape our city and impact residents for decades to come, so my City Council colleagues and I have worked very closely with our recruitment firm, Government Professional Solutions, to make sure that we were going to pursue the absolute best possible candidates,” said DeSoto Mayor Rachel L. Proctor. “We are excited to welcome our three City Manager finalists to City Hall on Thursday evening, and are inviting residents to stop by or tune in so that they can meet them.”

If you can't make it in person you can watch on Facebook at  

The three finalists are listed below by order of last name:  

Majed Al-Ghafry is an Executive Engineer and educator with 35 years of government and private sector experience. He is presently the Assistant City Manager and Chief Economic Development Officer for the City of Dallas and previously served as Assistant City Manager of the City of El Cajon, California, and the Director of Public Works for San Antonio, Texas. Al-Ghafry is a Credentialed City Manager and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of North Texas, Denton, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston.  CM Finalist Majed Al-Ghafry
Cheryl Harrison-Lee, the CEO of Harrison-Lee Development Consulting Company, served for 39 years in public administration including service as a municipal administrator in Florida and Kansas. She also serves as the Chief Technical Advisor for the City of Kansas City, Missouri Central City Economic Development Sales Tax District. Harrison-Lee holds a graduate degree from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program, and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Program. Finally, Harrison-Lee is a Credentialed Manager through the International City Management Association (ICMA) and a Certified Planner through the American Planning Association (APA) CM Finalist Cheryl Harrison-Lee
Joseph L. Lessard,  who served in the public sector as City Manager of Ashland, Oregon, Assistant City Manager for Austin, Texas, and Assistant to the City Manager of Dallas, Texas, also served in the private sector in executive positions in land development and multi-family financial oversight and provided consultant services in intergovernmental relations, economic development, and project management. Mr. Lessard holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs with a public finance concentration. He also holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in business administration and political science, from Washington State University. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Congress for the New Urbanism and the International City/County Management Association. CM Finalist Joseph Lessard