City Manager Search Process

After 45 years of distinguished service, Cambridge City Manager Rich C. Rossi has announced his retirement when his contract expires.

The City Council’s Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee will oversee the search for a new City Manager and has initiated this process.

In addition to overseeing applicant recruitment and screening, the Committee has agreed that a comprehensive community outreach plan be implemented to engage as many Cambridge residents as possible in voicing their vision for a new City Manager. Community engagement will include, but not be limited to, public meetings, multiple focus groups and an on-line survey.

This site will provide updates on the search process, committee meetings, and public forums.

View Upcoming Meetings and Events for the City Manager Search Process

September 29, 2016
Louis A. DePasquale Selected as Next Cambridge City Manager

September 29, 2016
City Council Expected to Vote on Appointment of City Manager

September 27, 2016
Comments on Finalists Received from Community Meeting, City Council Interviews, and Website Feedback Released

Panel Interview Aggregate Scores and Comments Released

September 21, 2016
City Council Public Interviews of Finalists

View Interviews Now

View Primary Interviews Questions (pdf)

Re-Broadcast Schedule on Channel 22:

  • Friday, 9/23/16 @ 8:00pm
  • Sunday, 9/25/16 @ 12:00pm
  • Tuesday, 9/27/16 @ 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, 9/28/16 @ 12:00pm

September 20, 2016
Meet the Finalists Forum

View Forum Now

View Questions from Forum (pdf)

Re-Broadcast Schedule on Channel 22:

  • Friday, 9/23/16 @ 1:00pm
  • Saturday, 9/24/16 @ 12:00pm
  • Tuesday, 9/27/16 @ 12:00pm
  • Thursday, 9/29/16 @ 12:00pm
September 19, 2016
Resumes Submitted by the Three Finalists for Cambridge City Manager Released (personal information redacted)
Robert "Jay" Ash Jr. Resume
Louis A. Depasquale Resume
Paul J. Fetherston Resume

Questions the Preliminary Screening Committee Asked During Its Interviews of Candidates on September 12 and 13


September 15, 2016
Three Finalists Announced by Preliminary Screening Committee

August 19, 2016
City Manager Preliminary Screening Committee Selected

July 18, 2016
City Manager Preliminary Screening Committee Self-Nomination Form

July 12, 2016
City Manager Job Posting

July 11, 2016
City Manager Leadership Profile and Recruitment Brochure

June 29, 2016
Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee Meeting

June 3, 2016
City Manager Search Focus Group Schedule (PDF)

June 2, 2016
GovHR USA Non-Price Proposal (Search Firm)

GovHR USA Price Proposal (Search Firm)

June 2, 2016
Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee Meeting

May 20, 2016
Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee Meeting

May 03, 2016
Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee Meeting

April 14, 2016
Purchasing Department Issues RFP for Consultant Services for Executive Recruitment for City Manager

April 6, 2016
Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee Meeting

March 23, 2016
Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee Meeting

March 11, 2016
Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee Meeting

Steps Activity Description Dates
Step 1 Develop and Advertise Call for Search Firm RFPs Develop RFP in consultation with city's Purchasing Agent, Amy Witts. April
Step 2 Formation of RFP Evaluation Committee The RFP Evaluation Committee will consist of up to 4 City Council members and 3 City staff members. April - May
Step 3 Search firm RFP is Selected The RFP Evaluation Committee recommends a search firm to the City Council, the Purchasing Agent, and the City Manager.
The process will be facilitated by the City's Purchasing Agent.
May
Step 4 Conduct Focus Groups The Search Firm will conduct 20-30 focus groups with identified key citywide constituencies. June
Step 5 Leadership Profile Development Using a variety of tools - including feedback from focus groups, an online survey, individual meetings with City Council members and key leadership staff - the Search Firm will develop an approved Leadership Profile to help inform applicant recruitment and screening. Early July
Step 6 Applicant Recruitment Period The Search Firm will actively engage in a multi-pronged recruitment of highly qualified applicants. July - August
Step 7 Preliminary-Screening Committee is Formed The Preliminary-Screening Committee will consist of various citywide stake holders, including up to 4 City Council members. August
Step 8 Applicant Screening The Search Firm will pre-screen all recruited applicants and will recommend 8-9 of the strongest candidates for consideration by the Preliminary-Screening Committee. Mid July - August
Step 9 Applicant Interviews The Preliminary-Screening Committee, in consultation with the Search Firm and the city's HR Director, will conduct confidential off-site interviews with the 8-9 selected applicants. The Preliminary-Screening Committee will be charged with forwarding their top 3 choices to the full City Council for their consideration.
Late August -September
Step 10 Public "Town Hall" Meetings The community will have an opportunity to engage separately with all 3 Finalists. Feedback will be collected and presented to City Council.
This is an opportunity for the public to hear each finalists' vision and to take questions from the audience.
September
Step 11 City Council Public Interviews with Finalists City Council members will interview the 3 Finalists in a publicly televised meeting. September
Step 12 Site Visits The City Council will have the opportunity to visit the respective work place of each finalist. September
Step 13 Public Meeting to Select New City Manager At a televised meeting, the City Council will vote their choice for the new City Manager. Week of September 26

Updates from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee

August 26, 2016
On August 25, 2016, the Preliminary Screening Committee, comprised of 15 community members reflecting citywide constituencies and four City Council members, met with representatives from our search firm GovHR USA, to review applications that had been submitted for the position of City Manager. Of the 55 applications that were submitted, the Preliminary Screening Committee has selected 8 candidates who will be offered interviews, which will take place in September.

August 19, 2016
The Mayor is pleased to announce the appointment of the Preliminary Screening Committee for a new City Manager. We also extend our appreciation to the 50 people who submitted applicants and were generously willing to volunteer their time in support of our search efforts.

The Preliminary Screening Committee, comprised of 15 community members reflecting citywide constituencies and four City Council members, will be facilitated by our search firm GovHR USA. The purpose of the Committee will be to interview the most qualified applicants and determine the three finalists to present to the public and to the City Council for their vote.

The public will have opportunities to meet the three finalists and provide feedback prior to the nominating vote taken at a City Council meeting in late September.

View the list of the Committee’s constituent members and a brief recap of their qualifying credentials (PDF).

June 30, 2016
The Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee reviewed the draft Candidate Profile submitted by GovHR USA, the consulting firm hired to facilitate the City Manager search process. The Candidate Profile reflects the themes that emerged from the interviews with key City Hall staff, constituency Focus Groups, citywide forums, an online employee survey, and the email comment site curated by the search firm. Committee members expressed their approval of the document and made several editing suggestions.

The final version of the Candidate Profile is being drafted by Sheila Keady Rawson, the City’s Director of Personnel and staff of GovHR USA. Finalization and online posting is to be completed by Tuesday, July 5th.

A follow-up meeting will be scheduled later this summer.

June 3, 2016
With the hiring of the search firm GovHR USA, the City has begun its search process for the new City Manager. Our first step is to hear from our residents and key constituents from across the City, to gather opinions on the characteristics, experience, challenges and opportunities to be considered in choosing the best City Manager for Cambridge.

Starting on June 9, we’ll embark on an extensive series of Focus groups to give voice to the diverse constituencies that live in our city.

Download City Manager Search Focus Group Schedule (PDF)

May 25,2016

The Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee is recommending to the Council an extension of Mr. Rossi’s current employment contract from June 30, 2016 to September 30, 2016 to coincide with the new City Manager Search timeline process.

May 19, 2016

The Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee held a meeting on May 3, 2016 to review and approve the proposed preliminary-screening committee and to receive an update from the City’s Purchasing Department on the RFP recruitment of search firm applicants. The Committee agreed to continue development of the preliminary-screening committee.

The evaluation process for the search firm RFP is on-going.

The Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee convenes on May 20, 2016, at 10:30am to conduct a public hearing to consider an extension to the current City Manager’s contract. This hearing will be televised

April 13, 2016

The Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee held a meeting on April 6, 2016 to review and approve the new City Manager Search process. At this meeting, the Committee approved the new City Manager Search Timeline, the RFP to recruit Search Firm applicants, and the composition of the RFP Evaluation Committee.

For general questions regarding the search process, please contact:

Councillor David P. Maher
Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

617-349-4280
dmaher@CambridgeMA.Gov