William V. “Bill” Bell


William V. “Bill” Bell was appointed by the UDI Community Development Corporation (dba: UDI/CDC) Board, December 13, 2023, as  the President/CEO. He  had been the Executive Vice-President/Chief Operating Officer of UDI/CDC since June 1996. He was President of UDI/CDC’s Board in 1974 and served for ten (10) years in that position

  • Bell, a retired IBM Senior Engineer (1996), served as an elected Durham County Commissioner for 26 years (1972 – 1994; 1996 – 2000) and Chairman of the Durham Board of County Commissioners for 12 years (1982 – 1994). As Chairman of the Durham County Board of Commissioners he was recognized as the architect of the 1992 merger of the then “Durham City Schools System” and the then “Durham County School System” into the now “Durham Public School System” (DPS). He was elected Mayor of Durham, NC in 2001 and served continuously for 16 years, as the Mayor of Durham, NC until December 2017 as the longest serving Mayor in Durham’s history, choosing not to run for re-election in 2017.  He and his wife (Judith) are the parents of four (4) adult children and (7) grandchildren.


  • Born in Washington, DC, Bell attended the public schools in Winston-Salem, NC graduating from Atkins High School in 1957 prior to the integration of Atkins High School. He received his B.S./Electrical Engineering from Howard University in Washington, DC in 1961 and his M.S./Electrical Engineering from New York University in New York, NY in 1968. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a 1st Lieutenant from 1961 to 1963. He has worked as an Electrical Engineer in both the private and public sectors respectively at Martin Marietta Corporation, Orlando Florida, the U.S. Research and Development Laboratory Ft. Monmouth, NJ and the IBM Corporation, Research Triangle Park, NC where he retired in 1996.


  • He has over the years served on numerous local, state national boards and committees, and has been the recipient of many local, state and national awards and honors.
  • He is past Chairman of the NC Metropolitan Mayors Coalition an organization of the 27 largest cities in NC with populations of more than 30,000. He presently serves as Chairman of The North Carolina Railroad Company and is a member of the Board of Trustees of North Carolina Central University.


  • He was awarded the Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement in the Fields of Engineering and Public Service, presented by the Board of Trustees, Howard University, Washington, D.C., 1988.
  • He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Duke University at its commencement exercises on May 13, 2018.
  • Bell was awarded North Carolina State University School of Design 23rd “Designlife Award” at its Gala in 2021.
  • Bell was the William Peace University May 11, 2024, Commencement Speaker and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities.