PITTSBURGH, PA – Mayor William Peduto announced today his selection of four new directors to lead key City of Pittsburgh departments. These selections were made after applicants applied through Talent City and passed rigorous screenings, interviews and evaluations. Final selections were made by the Mayor as he continues to build his leadership team.
“I am excited for each of these individuals to come on board and start the important work of building the next Pittsburgh,” said Mayor Peduto. “Each of them are talented, experienced professionals who will do great things for our city.”
Of the four candidates, three are external hires with James Griffin coming on board as the Director of Parks and Recreation, Maura Kennedy starting as the Chief of the Bureau of Building Inspection, and Deborah Walker taking over as the Manager of the Office of Municipal Investigations. The fourth candidate, Todd Siegel, will become the Director of the Department of Personnel and Civil Service Commission after previously serving as the assistant director of the department.
The hires were made through Talent City, a program run by the Pittsburgh Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics to help Mayor Peduto and the City of Pittsburgh search for and hire the best and the brightest managers and professionals to help lead our city.
“I am very thankful for the service Talent City, Pittsburgh Foundation, and the Institute of Politics have provided to my administration and to the people of this city,” said Mayor Peduto. “Finding good people willing to bring their talents into government is very difficult. As these hires show, we have selected exceptional people to join us in service to the public and take the helm of our city departments.”
Todd Siegel will start immediately in his role as Director of Personnel and Civil Service Commission. The remaining nominees will start in the coming weeks as they transition out of their current jobs. All candidates must be confirmed by City Council.
Biographies for each candidate follow:
Director of Parks & Recreation
Coming to us from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, James Griffin, 47, possesses a detailed knowledge of the parks, parklets, playgrounds, greenways and watersheds throughout the city. He began working with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy as the manager for Schenley Plaza in 2008. Through his efforts, the park has enjoyed tremendous success including tripling its number of visitors to 500,000 annually, providing diverse and interesting programming and dining options and the project becoming financial sustainability. For the past two years, Griffin has served as Director of Facilities, responsible for all Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy projects' maintenance, operations and programming. His career includes more than two decades of management experience, including as a small business owner of The Hermitage Group, a management consulting firm that he co-founded in 2005. With stints at IBM, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he advised clients such as NASA and the U.S. Courts, and at the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Public Health where he served as the chief technology officer, Griffin has displayed a variety of management skills across a broad swath of industries. He began his career at Washington Steel, sweeping floors and delivering mail for the now defunct company. After college, he entered government service as a legislative staff member in the U.S. Senate's Committee on Veterans Affairs and the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Ways & Means. Griffin has a Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University. He lives in Squirrel Hill. His salary will be $96,410.
Chief of BBI
Maura Kennedy, 32, most recently served the residents of Philadelphia as Executive Director of Development Services in the Department of Licenses and Inspections, a position she has held since July of 2013. Having joined the City of Philadelphia in 2008, Kennedy first worked as Deputy Press Secretary for the Nutter Administration before being promoted to Director of Strategic Initiatives for Licenses and Inspections. There she launched and directed the department’s highly acclaimed Vacant Property Strategy, reducing the number of vacant or abandoned properties in Philadelphia by strengthening and enforcing private property maintenance standards. Kennedy is working on a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and holds Bachelors degree from the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University. Kennedy’s salary will be $100,889. She is in the process of relocating to Pittsburgh, and her employment will commence after she has moved to the city.
Director of Personnel and Civil Service
Todd Siegel, 52, has more than 20 years of broad-based experience in management and human resources, serving most recently as the assistant director of the Department of Personnel and Civil Services Commmission. Siegel has supervised the planning and performance of the City’s human resource administrative functions since 1989. The Greenfield resident earned a Master’s degree in public management with a focus on management information systems from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s in information science from the University of Pittsburgh. His undergraduate degree, also from the University of Pittsburgh, is in psychology and communications. Siegel will begin his new duties immediately in an acting capacity at a salary of $96,410.
Manager of the Office of Municipal Investigations
Deborah Walker, 59, has 20 years experience in law enforcement and 10 years as a higher education administrator. After graduating from Westinghouse High School, she was hired by the University of Pittsburgh Police Department and began training at the Allegheny County Police Academy within six months. In 1999, she was promoted to the position of Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist and managed various efforts to improve campus safety that effectively reduced crime rates. She continued to rise in the ranks ultimately serving as student conduct officer. In 2010, Walker was appointed to Pittsburgh’s Citizens Police Review Board and served as board chair. She holds two degrees from the University of Pittsburgh – a bachelor’s in criminal justice and legal studies and a master’s in public policy and management. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor at Point Park University and the University of Pittsburgh. Walker is also a past recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award from the University of Pittsburgh, the first university employee represented by a collective bargaining unit to receive the award. She is also a respected professional in the area of university, police, and community relations, having presented a talk on Responding to Crime at an Urban-Based Research University at the Oxford Roundtable at the University of Oxford. She lives in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh and her salary will be $74,775.
Photos available upon request.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Public Information Officer
City of Pittsburgh
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