William V. “Bill” Bell has been the Executive Vice-President/Chief Operating Officer of UDI/Community Development Corporation 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 for12 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 will continue to serve as the Mayor of Durham, NC until December, 2017 as the longest serving Mayor in Durham’s history. 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 GoTriangle (d.b.a. TTA the regional Transportation Authority responsible for creating a regional transportation system for the Region).
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.
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.