Meet the mayors at CityLab DC

Mayors at this year’s CityLab convening come from 11 countries on five continents.

There are 44 mayors attending this year’s CityLab DC — the largest convening of mayors at CityLab since the annual gathering began in 2013. They’ve come from 11 countries on five continents to share the latest innovations from their cities, learn about breakthroughs elsewhere, and unite in the common cause of making their cities better places to live and work.

In addition to the conference, the mayors met yesterday for a daylong innovation studio dedicated to finding local solutions for helping residents move up the economic ladder. Many are also alums of the , and will be gathering for a class reunion.

Read on to find out more about these people and personalities.

In office since: January, 2016

Fun fact: Before going into politics, Mayor Horrigan was a high school social studies teacher.

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In office since: January, 2014

Fun fact: A tireless advocate of breathing new life into Albany’s aging housing stock, Mayor Sheehan recently bought and restored a fixer-upper townhouse built in 1857.

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In office since: December, 2017

Fun fact: The New York Times once called Mayor Keller, a big fan of heavy-metal music and an advocate for the local music scene, “Albuquerque’s Headbanger Mayor.”

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In office since: July, 2015

Fun fact: Mayor Berkowitz earned a degree in polar studies from Cambridge University and spent three seasons working odd jobs in Antarctica.

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In office since: January, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Bottoms previously served as a judge and city councilmember, making her Atlanta’s first mayor to serve in all three branches of government.

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In office since: November, 2017

Fun fact: Elected at the age of 36, Mayor Woodfin is Birmingham’s youngest mayor in more than 120 years.

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In office since: June, 2010

Fun fact: At Mayor Benjamin’s urging, Columbia became the first city in the U.S. to ban bump stocks, the gun attachments that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire continuously that have since been banned nationwide.

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In office since: December, 2018 (also served 2016–17)

Fun fact: Mayor Foley is Costa Mesa’s first directly elected mayor and is now running for a seat in the California State Senate.

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In office since: December, 2017

Fun fact: Mayor Schewel founded Durham’s alternative weekly newspaper, The Independent, in 1982, slapping a handwritten sign on the wall that said: “No Guts, No Glory.”

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In office since: October, 2013

Fun fact: Canadian Business magazine named Mayor Iveson one of its 2016 “Change Agents” for building economic momentum in Edmonton during a downturn.

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In office since: May, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Aki-Sawyerr played a lead role in Sierra Leone’s response to and recovery from the 2014-16 Ebola virus outbreak.

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In office since: April, 2015

Fun fact: Mayor Troxell has been on the Mechanical Engineering faculty at Colorado State University for 35 years and is an expert in artificial intelligence and robotics.

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In office since: January, 2013

Fun fact: A medical doctor with degrees in public health and epidemiology, Mayor Cláudio has championed causes like upgrading primary care facilities and encouraging Fortaleza’s many motorcycle riders to wear helmets.

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In office since: January, 2012

Fun fact: Mayor Freeman-Wilson appeared on a 2016 episode of the TV show “Undercover Boss,” working jobs in city parks, the sewage plant, and the police and fire departments disguised as “Sheila from Nashville.”

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In office since: January, 2016

Fun fact: With a master’s degree in social work, Mayor Bliss worked for two decades in the fields of domestic violence and child welfare.

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In office since: November, 2012

Fun fact: Born in Northern Ireland, Mayor Savage served in Canada’s Parliament from 2004-11.

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In office since: June, 2017

Fun fact: Mayor Vapaavuori’s goal is to make Helsinki the “most functional city in the world,” meaning, he says, that “if a tram is planned to come at 2:02, it comes at 2:02.”

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In office since: January, 2019

Fun fact: As a city council member back in 2003, Mayor Gorton helped Lexington pass Kentucky’s first city ban on indoor smoking — a tough sell in tobacco country.

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In office since: January, 2019

Fun fact: Mayor Scott is the first African-American chosen by voters to be mayor of Little Rock and, elected at the age of 35, is 15 years younger than his city council’s youngest member.

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In office since: January, 2011

Fun fact: In a 2016 Politico survey of U.S. mayors, Mayor Fischer was picked as the “Most Innovative” among his peers.

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In office since: January, 2015

Fun fact: Earlier in her career, Mayor Schaaf and her mother co-founded the nonprofit Oakland Cares to make it easier for residents to do volunteer work.

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In office since: July, 2018

Fun fact: A food lover, Mayor Sayegh often blogs about his favorite Paterson restaurants on Facebook.

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In office since: January, 2016

Fun fact: Philadelphia Magazine recently called Mayor Kenney “the most ambitious mayor Philly has ever had,” citing accomplishments such as passing a tax on soda to fund universal pre-K.

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In office since: May, 1998

Fun fact: Evans, who’s led Plymouth’s local council off-and-on for more than 20 years, won a prestigious national Council Leader of the Year award in 2015.

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In office since: November, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Hardin served two separate stints on the city commission before his successful run for mayor last year.

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In office since: November, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Hřib is known as a critic of China’s growing influence in Europe and recently rankled Beijing by refusing to expel a Taiwanese diplomat from a gathering in Prague.

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In office since: January, 2015

Fun fact: One of the first things Mayor Elorza did in office was to appoint a chief innovation officer to work on improving city services, increase transparency, and find efficiencies.

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In office from: 2014 to May, 2019

Fun fact: Before he became mayor, Rodas founded and ran Fundación Ethos, a Mexico-based think tank focused on fighting poverty and spreading responsible governance throughout Latin America.

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In office since: June, 2014

Fun fact: Mayor Eggertsson is a medical doctor who once worked in various capacities at Iceland’s leading hospital, including in the emergency room.

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In office since: January, 2015

Fun fact: Mayor Liccardo has added a new dimension to debates about gun control by proposing that gun owners in his city be required to buy liability insurance.

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In office since: January, 2018

Fun fact: Elected at the age of 38, Carter is one of St. Paul’s youngest mayors and the first African-American to hold the office.

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In office since: January, 2013

Fun fact: Mayor Cruz played a critical role in raising awareness globally of Puerto Rico’s challenges recovering from Hurricane Maria and is running for governor in 2020.

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In office since: March, 2018

Fun fact: Before going into politics, Mayor Webber co-founded and was Co-Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company magazine.

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In office since: November, 2016

Fun fact: Mayor Clark has a degree in conflict resolution and worked in that field before being elected as a city councilor and, later, mayor.

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In office since: November, 2017

Fun fact: In her previous work as a lawyer and serving as a U.S. Attorney, Mayor Durkan became a nationally recognized expert in cyber-security issues.

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In office since: May, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor TenHaken founded a successful digital marketing firm in Sioux Falls and has written a children’s book meant to inspire young people to pursue tech careers.

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In office since: January, 2018

Fun fact: In a previous role as the city’s economic development chief, Mayor Walsh played a key role in restoring the historic Hotel Syracuse.

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In office since: January, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Woodards is a U.S. Army veteran who was stationed at Fort Lewis, right near her hometown of Tacoma.

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In office since: January, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor De La Isla likes to use her own experience with teen pregnancy and overcoming homelessness to inspire others to tackle their toughest challenges.

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In office from: 2016 to February, 2019

Fun fact: Elected Regent of an urban area of nearly 700,000 people at the age of 31, Dardak has since become Vice Governor of the province of East Java.

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In office since: December, 2016

Fun fact: Known for taking a data-driven approach to government, Mayor Bynum delivered a TED Talk on overcoming partisanship that has been watched nearly 1 million times.

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In office since: April, 2015

Fun fact: Mayor Šimašius is the Lithuanian capital’s first directly elected mayor.

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In office since: January, 2015

Fun fact: Mayor Bowser, a champion of improving services for maternal health and early childhood development, recently adopted a newborn.

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Celebrating public sector progress and innovation in cities around the world. Run by @BloombergDotOrg’s Government Innovation program.

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