Kevyn Duane Orr (born 1958/1959) is the emergency manager of the city of Detroit, Michigan.  He was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder on March 14, 2013.

Prior career

Orr holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Michigan.  Orr practiced law in Washington D.C. as a partner in the international law firm Jones Day.  Orr had been picked to lead Jones Day's new Miami office before he resigned his partnership to move to Detroit.  Noting his "impressive depth of experience," legal industry publication Chambers and Partners listed Orr among the top bankruptcy lawyers in Washington as of 2013.

While at Jones Day, Orr represented Chrysler in connection with its 2009 bankruptcy and restructuring.  According to bankruptcy court records, Orr billed $700 an hour during the bankruptcy.  The Detroit News described Orr as "the lead attorney on convincing the court to allow Chrysler to abruptly close a quarter of its U.S. dealerships."  The Chrysler bankruptcy proceeding was widely regarded as successful for leading to greater sales and profits and Chrysler's renewed "reputation as a bold and innovative automaker."

Before joining Jones Day in 2000, Orr was the deputy director and then director of the Executive Office for United States Trustees, a division of the United States Department of Justice that monitors the nation's bankruptcy system.  He also worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  Before his government service, Orr was a partner with Sterns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson in Miami.

Tenure as Emergency Manager

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appointed Kevyn Orr as emergency manager to oversee Detroit financial operations on March 14, 2013 under Public Act 72. On January 24, 2013 Snyder had signed a revised version of a controversial emergency manager law that was rejected by voters during the November election. The new law, Public Act 436, took effect on March 28, 2013 and gave the Detroit emergency manager extraordinary control over all Detroit financial matters, and the ability to recommend to the governor and state treasurer that the government enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Orr began his expected 18-month term as emergency manager on March 25, 2013.

At Orr's recommendation and with the approval of Governor Snyder, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy on July 18, 2013.


Orr was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Orr's father, Allen Eugene Orr, was an "A.M.E. minister who marched to support the rights of south Florida's African-American minority in the 1960s and 1970s"; his mother, Dorothy Jackson, was a teacher who eventually became an administrator in the office of Broward County's superintendent of schools.

In 1990, the Miami Herald listed Orr as one of the area's "Most Eligible Men."

Since 2004, he has been married to Dr. Donna Neale, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland; they began dating in 1994.  They have two children.

Between 2009 and 2012, the state of Maryland’s Office of Unemployment Insurance filed four liens against Orr's $1 million Chevy Chase, Maryland, home, for unpaid taxes on child care for his two children. Two liens totaling $15,797.68 from 2011 and 2012 were listed as unpaid at the time of Orr's appointment as Detroit emergency manager. Upon learning of what he described as an "embarrassing" oversight, Orr stated that he promptly paid off the liens the same day.


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  2. a b Williams, Corey (July 19, 2013). "In Despair, Detroit Files for Bankruptcy" (PDF). The Express (Washington, DC). Associated Press. p. 3. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
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  12. ^ "New Emergency Manager Law Signed By Michigan Governor Rick Snyder"Huffington Post. December 27, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
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  14. ^ Michigan Legislature (December 26, 2012). "Public Act No. 436 of 2012" (PDF). State of Michigan. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
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  18. a b Dickerson, Brian; Helms, Matt; Spangler, Todd (March 24, 2013). "New Detroit emergency financial manager Kevyn Orr takes on challenge of a lifetime"Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 19, 2013.