Melanie Zipp is Fairfax’s Assistant City Manager

Melissa Shinaberry promoted to city clerk.

Women are on the move in Fairfax City’s government. Not only does Fairfax have a female mayor, deputy city manager and Council members, it’s also promoting some staff members to higher positions.

Fairfax City Council recently created the position of assistant city manager and appointed the City’s chief of staff, Melanie Zipp, to this post. In addition, Deputy City Clerk Melissa Shinaberry was promoted to city clerk.

Melanie Zipp 


“Municipal government offers great careers, and I’m delighted that two such capable and committed women are being promoted to new roles,” said Mayor Catherine Read. “Ms. Zipp is the steward of tremendous institutional knowledge that is invaluable to our City, and Ms. Shinaberry has honed her skills over the last five years demonstrating to our City Council members that she will make an excellent city clerk.”

Zipp joined Fairfax in August 2004 as city clerk, with office administration added to her duties in January 2014. She was promoted again in September 2019 to chief of staff, while also continuing as city clerk. 

In her new capacity as assistant city manager, she’s providing needed coordination and oversight for several critical functions, such as Title VI administration, legislative affairs, ADA coordination, communications and marketing, and development-review ombudsman. 

Zipp earned her Master of Public Administration, with a focus on local government, from George Mason University in 2016. And she obtained a Bachelor of Science, with a focus on diversity and critical thinking, from the University of Phoenix.

She completed the University of Virginia’s LEAD certification program (Leading, Educating and Developing) in 2022. She also completed the Conflict Resolution for Political Leaders in 2020 and earned the Certified Municipal Clerk designation in 2007. 

In making these administrative changes, the City eliminated the chief of staff job and returned the position of city clerk to a stand-alone, full-time post. Shinaberry was previously promoted to city clerk from deputy city clerk – the job she’s held since July 2019. 

Melissa Shinaberry 


In her role as city clerk, she serves as liaison/coordinator to the city manager, mayor, City Council, department heads, other city staff and the public. She also swears in City officials including Council members, police officers, the fire marshal and animal-control officers.

Shinaberry’s additional duties include managing records, providing administrative support to City Council, recording Council meeting minutes, maintaining the City Code, maintaining City Council policies and procedures, and supporting city boards and commissions. 

Shinaberry joined the City as an administrative assistant in October 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Cum Laude, from Strayer University, Washington, D.C., and an Associate of Applied Science in business management, administrative support and technology specialization from Northern Virginia Community College. She’s also a certified notary and a certified municipal clerk.

--Matthew Kaiser contributed to this story.