Chief administrative officer

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A chief administrative officer (CAO) is responsible for administrative management of private, public or governmental corporations. The CAO is one of the highest ranking members of an organization, managing daily operations and usually reporting directly to the chief executive officer.

In a municipal context, the title is usually used as an alternative for city manager, or county executive, particularly in cases where the position does not include powers such as the authority to appoint or dismiss department heads.


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