Dargan, the current chief operating officer of the Houston Public Works Department, will take over the San Diego position on Nov. 1. His appointment follows a national search with nearly 200 candidates.
Mayor Todd Gloria cited Dargan’s “passion for public service and ability to get things done” as the reason for his selection.
“I’m proud and excited to name Eric as the city of San Diego’s next chief operating officer, where his skills and experience will be put to great use as we continue the work to make our city function better at every level,” Gloria said in a statement. “Eric is a true public servant who is ready to tackle our big challenges from building more housing and addressing
homelessness to fixing our city’s crumbling infrastructure. I am confident Eric will help drive change at the city and lead our mission to make San Diego not just a fine city, but a truly great city.”
Dargan has been with the city of Houston for more than 20 years, overseeing the city’s water, transportation and drainage operations, permitting center, customer account services and capital projects. He is also responsible for the safe operating condition of the city’s streets, bridges, drainage ditches, water, sewer and stormwater facilities, as well as permitting and billing.
“I’m honored to have been selected to help Mayor Todd Gloria carry out his big plans for this beautiful city,” Dargan said in a statement. “I have a genuine passion for tackling significant challenges and making municipal operations as effective as possible for the people they serve. I look forward to bringing that passion to the city of San Diego.”
An Arkansas native, Dargan earned his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Prairie View A&M University in Texas. He earned his masters of science in electrical engineering at Michigan State University in 1991. While working for Houston, Dargan received a Certified Public Manager accreditation through Sam Houston State University in 2007.
Dargan began his professional career with Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., now AT&T, and also served 10 years in the U.S. Army — two years as a lieutenant on active duty and eight years in the National Guard, reaching the rank of captain and serving as company commander in the 136th Signal Corps.
City News Service contributed to this article.