TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — Tompkins County’s longtime Deputy County Administrator Paula Younger is leaving her position and taking her experience in local government to the realm of higher education. She isn’t going far — she has accepted a position at Ithaca College working in government and community relations.

Younger has worked as deputy county administrator for 11 years and has served as interim county administrator since mid-November, since the retirement of Joe Mareane. As part of her work, she helps oversee day-to-day operations at the county, which includes 27 departments and an annual budget of about $179 million.

Younger announced she would be moving on at Tuesday’s Tompkins County Legislature meeting — though she didn’t quite say where yet. She hinted that she would be traveling uphill to go to her new office and she would be adding “a little more blue to my wardrobe.”

During her time as deputy county administrator, she said she has had the opportunity to work with talented department heads and wonderful members of the community.

Discussing when she took her role as deputy county administrator, she said, “I knew it was going to be stimulating. I knew it was going to be challenging. I knew it was going to be rewarding and you did not disappoint.”

Younger’s official title at Ithaca College will be executive director for government and community relations, and she will represent the Office of the President. She will be working with the college’s new president, Shirley Collado. She begins Jan. 15.

“I’ve said to folks that this will definitely not be the last chapter, that there are some new and exciting things ahead and I’m really ready to get started because I’ve had such great preparation here with all of you, and with the wonderful members of our community,” Younger said.

The position Younger is stepping into at Ithaca College is new. Collado announced the creation of the position in September, the college said. Collado said the position reflects an “emerging need” to develop and maintain relationships between the college and local community, as well as the state and federal governments.

Some of Younger’s accomplishments during her time at the county include establishing the county’s first Diversity and Inclusion Policy and grant development to help start the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium. She has also facilitated a county-wide effort to expand broadband internet service, the county said.

Related: Batavia city manager accepts offer to be next Tompkins County administrator

“I am genuinely touched by the well-wishes received from my county government colleagues, Legislators, and community members,” Younger said in the news release.  “I deeply appreciate the support and encouragement I have received, and the opportunity to serve in Tompkins County government over these many years.  This is not the final chapter, but the continuation of a great story.”

Featured image provided. 

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.