Meet this year’s class of Bloomberg Harvard mayors

Image for post
Image for post
Forty-one mayors from ten countries met with former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg this week as they kicked off the latest class of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

This week in New York City, 41 mayors from 10 countries kicked off a yearlong executive training program designed specifically for city leaders.

This third class of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative reflects the growing diversity of the people leading local governments. Nearly half (18) of this year’s class are women and one-third (12) are African-American or Hispanic. Many of them are breaking glass ceilings back home as their city’s first female, black, or openly gay mayor.

[Get the latest innovation news from Bloomberg Cities! Subscribe to SPARK.]

For more on the people and personalities in this year’s class, keep reading below.

In office since: March, 2017

Fun fact: Mayor Sowah is a social entrepreneur with experience in local economic development, especially in the area of informal economies and small business development.

Twitter: @MayorAdjeiSowah

In office since: November, 2018

Fun fact: Lord Mayor Verschoor was previously CEO of the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Festival, as well as producer of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas in 2018.

Twitter: @sandyver

In office since: January, 2019

Fun fact: Mayor Girtz was previously a middle school and high school teacher.

Twitter: @accgov

In office since: January 2015

Fun fact: Mayor Davis holds degrees in both electrical engineering and ministry.

Twitter: @hardiedavis

In office since: May, 2017

Fun fact: Mayor Irvin served with the U.S. Army in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Twitter: @CityofAuroraIL

In office since: January, 2015

Fun fact: Readers of The Austin Chronicle named Mayor Adler the city’s “Best Drag Mother” after his turn as Mother Ginger in Ballet Austin’s performance of “The Nutcracker.”

Twitter: @MayorAdler

In office since: November, 2018

Fun fact: An architect by training, Mayor Vallo said he decided to become a politician — and run for mayor — after attending CityLab, where he realized that “if you want to make a change, it is not enough to be an urban activist, you have to become part of the system.”

Twitter: @matusvallo

In office since: January, 2006

Fun fact: Mayor Brown is the first African-American mayor in Buffalo and was the first nonwhite member of the New York state senate.

Twitter: @MayorByronBrown

In office since: May, 2019

Fun fact: Mayor Lightfoot was the quarterback of her intramural football team when she was a law student at the University of Chicago.

Twitter: @chicagosmayor

In office since: December, 2014

Fun fact: Soon after Mayor Salas started college at age 37, she became involved in MANA, a national organization that empowers Latinas through leadership development, community service, and advocacy. After becoming president of the San Diego chapter, she created a program to mentor young women.

Twitter: @MayorMarySalas

In office since: March, 2019

Fun fact: Mayor Brook previously served as mayor of Coral Springs from 2006 to 2010.

Twitter: @Mayorscottbrook

In office since: June, 2019

Fun fact: When Mayor Johnson was a student at Harvard University, he served as the director of the Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program, a summer program for children who lived in public housing.

Twitter: @DallasMayor

In office since: January, 2014

Fun fact: According to the Dayton Daily News, Mayor Whaley is “crazy about the card game bridge and mahjong.”

Twitter: @nanwhaley

In office since: August, 2016

Fun fact: Mayor Daniels is the founder of Operation Welcome Home AZ, a program that honors returning members of the military and their families.

Twitter: @GilbertAZMayor

In office since: December, 2006

Fun fact: He served as Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy for five years before being elected Lord Mayor.

Twitter: @EckartWuerzner

In office since: January, 2013

Fun fact: Mayor Williams was featured on the television adaptation of the comedy/advice podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me,” which involved the hosts asking to have a tarantula-themed parade in downtown Huntington.

Twitter: @HuntingtonMayor

In office since: January, 2018

Fun fact: Growing up, Mayor Sorace wanted to be a psychoneuroimmunologist. During undergraduate school she studied psychology and biology and worked as a hospice volunteer.

Twitter: @MayorSorace

In office since: May, 2019

Fun fact: Mayor Gaylor Baird says that one of the few things her three children agree on is that she is the “embarrassing parent.”

Twitter: @MayorLeirion

In office since: April, 2019

Fun fact: For 14 years, Mayor Rhodes-Conway managed the Mayors Innovation Project, a network for mayors to share policy ideas and lessons learned.

Twitter: @MayorOfMadison

In office since: January, 2018

Fun fact: Before running for political office, Mayor Frey was a competitive runner, taking fourth in the marathon at the 2008 Pan American Games with a time of 2:14:44.

Twitter: @Jacob_Frey

In office since: December 2014

Fun fact: Before entering public service, Mayor Crombie enjoyed a 20-year career in business, working for McDonalds and The Walt Disney Company.

Twitter: @BonnieCrombie

In office since: December 2015

Fun fact: Mayor Guitierrez is both Moreno Valley’s last appointed mayor and its first elected mayor.

Twitter: @movalmayor

In office since: May 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Cantrell served as secretary of her local chamber of commerce at age 13.

Twitter: @mayorcantrell

In office since: July, 2014

Fun fact: Before moving to city hall, Mayor Baraka was a high school principal and was featured on Lauryn Hill’s 1998 “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” as the narrator of several interludes on the album.

Twitter: @rasjbaraka

In office since: November, 2014

Fun fact: Lord Mayor Nelmes played on a traveling basketball team when she was in high school.

Twitter: @Nuatali_Nelmes

In office since: April, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Holt is the author of the book “Big League City: Oklahoma City’s Rise to the NBA,” which details the events that led to the then-Seattle Supersonics’ move to Oklahoma City, where they were renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Twitter: @davidfholt

In office since: March, 2019

Fun fact: At 37, Mayor Gallego is the youngest big-city mayor in the U.S.

Twitter: @KateWGallego

In office since: February, 2019

Fun fact: Mayor Gradisar is Pueblo’s first mayor in six decades and its first elected mayor since 1911.

Twitter: @CityofPueblo

In office since: December, 2016

Fun fact: Earlier in his career, Mayor Castro led an international program to build low-income housing in countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Twitter: @cn_castro

In office since: November, 2014

Fun fact: Mayor Schieve grew up as a figure skater with Olympic dreams that were cut short when she was stricken with kidney failure. Her sister saved her life by donating her kidney for a transplant operation.

Twitter: @MayorSchieve

In office since: January, 2019

Fun fact: In her previous role as a state legislator, Mayor Norton led the push for a public-private partnership to turn the area around Rochester’s famous Mayo Clinic into a global destination for healthcare and wellness.

Twitter: @knorton29

In office since: January, 2014

Fun fact: Mayor Warren, who is Rochester’s first female mayor, was named by Essence magazine as one of 2018’s “100 Woke Women” who are “proven change agents” and “continuously fight the good fight.”

Twitter: @CityRochesterNY

In office since: July, 2018

Fun fact: When addressing the need for affordable housing, Mayor Breed speaks from experience: She was raised by her grandmother in the city’s Plaza East public housing complex.

Twitter: @LondonBreed

In office since: October, 2018

Fun fact: As a member of an activist group called Grupo Oaxaca back in 2002, Mayor Treviño helped a successful push for Mexico’s 2002 Federal Transparency Law.

Twitter: @miguelbtrevino

In office since: December, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Perkins was the first African-American cadet to be elected class president at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point.

Twitter: @ShreveportMayor

In office since: January, 2014

Fun fact: Mayor Kriseman was named one of the world’s 100 most influential climate policy leaders by the public-service network Apolitical.

Twitter: @Kriseman

In office since: October, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Jerlmyr previously served in Sweden’s national legislature and is currently president of the EUROCITIES network of major European cities.

Twitter: @Stockholmsstad

In office since: May, 2019

Fun fact: Mayor Castor served 31 years with the Tampa Police Department, working her way from a beat cop to become the city’s first female Chief of Police.

Twitter: @JaneCastor

In office since: July, 2018

Fun fact: Mayor Gusciora served in the New Jersey state legislature for more than 20 years and teaches government at the College of New Jersey.

Twitter: @gusciora

In office since: November, 2018

Fun fact: An expert in European affairs, Mayor Trzaskowski previously served as a member of the European Parliament and in several roles with Poland’s national government.

Twitter: @trzaskowski_

In office since: November, 2014

Fun fact: A business lawyer, Mayor Bowman previously was chair of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

Twitter: @Mayor_Bowman

Written by

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store