What’s the buzz

If the pollen outside is any indicator, the bees have been busy, and the buzz in Cambridge has been the finalist candidates for our next City Manager! It’s been a busy week, as the final four met virtually and in-person with City Staff, and with you, at our “Meet the Finalists Forum” this past Tuesday evening. The week rounded off last night with the public interviews of each candidate before the full Council. We thank all of you who came out in person or watched online or over cable.

Follow the links below for video of each of these events:

5.31.22 - Meet the Finalists Forum

6.1.22 - City Council CM Public Interviews 

Our next step will be the Council vote to appoint the new City Manager. The vote is scheduled to take place at the Regular City Council meeting on June 6th, 2022 beginning at 5:30pm. In the meantime if you have feedback on the finalists, we'd love to hear it! Please send them to the full Council at citycouncil@cambridgema.gov or to our search consultant randi@randifrank.com.

For more information, visit https://www.cambridgema.gov/Departments/citycouncil/citymanagersearch2022

It’s Been A Long Time Coming, But We Have Good News!

We’re happy to announce that the Initial Screening Committee has selected four finalists to move forward for consideration to become Cambridge’s next City Manager. To read more about the screening committee’s process, click here. After two days of interviews on May 12th and 13th, the committee is proud to present the following candidates:

Iram Farooq - Ms. Farooq is currently the Assistant City Manager for the Community Development Department (CDD) in the City of Cambridge since 2015. Prior to that, she served as Chief of Policy & Planning in CDD and as a Senior Project Manager for Land Use & Zoning starting in 1999. Ms. Farooq has a Master’s in Landscape Architecture with special emphasis on Land Planning from Harvard University.


Cheryl Watson Fisher - Ms. Fisher is currently the City Solicitor for the City of Chelsea, MA since 2003, and is a partner in the Cambridge based law firm Galluccio & Watson, LLP. She served as Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Cambridge from 1999-2003. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Regional Counsel II for the Department of Social Services for the Commonwealth of MA and a Field Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Boston. Ms. Fisher has her Juris Doctor (Law degree) from Boston College.


Yi-An Huang - Mr. Huang is currently the Executive Director of Boston Medical Center (BMC) Hospital Clinical Operations since 2021. Between 2018 and 2021 he served as Chief Transformation Officer and Senior Director - Population Health Analytics for the BMC Health Plan. From 2013 to 2018 he served as Senior Director of Clinical Operation, Director of Strategy and Senior Project Manager for the BMC Hospital. Mr. Huang has a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University.


Norman Khumalo - Mr. Khumalo is currently the Town Manager of Hopkinton, MA since 2009. He served as Assistant Town Manager of Westford, MA from 2002-2009, and served for 6 months as Interim Town Manager. Prior to that he served as a Town Planner, Planner and Transportation Project Manager in Massachusetts. He also served from 1993 to 1997 with Oxfam America in the Boston office, and served in the Planning Field in Zimbabwe. Mr. Khumalo has a Master’s in Public Administration from Carleton University, Canada and a Master’s in Regional & Urban Planning from the University of Zimbabwe.

Here’s Where You Come In:

On Tuesday, May 31st at 6 PM in the CRLS Fitzgerald Theater, we’ll be hosting a “Meet the Finalists” forum where you can listen to each candidate share their vision for Cambridge and why they should be our next City Manager. If there are specific questions you want answered, you can submit them to randi@randifrank.com by Thursday, May 26 at 12 noon. This is another great opportunity to get involved in the City Manager Search process, and to hear from the finalists directly. 

You can attend the meeting in-person on the 31st at the Fitzgerald Theater, or you can watch from home on Channel 99, or live stream via the Open Meeting Portal.


Next Steps

After you have the chance to meet the candidates and hear what they have to say, they’ll be interviewed by the City Council on Wednesday, June 1st at 6:00 PM in the Sullivan Chamber. Although you won’t have the opportunity to ask questions at this stage, you can listen to their responses before the Council officially votes on their choice during the regular Council meeting on Monday, June 6th.

This meeting is open to the public for in-person attendance, and available from home on CityView Channel 22, on Zoom, or live stream on the web via the Open Meeting Portal.

Initial Screening Committee Members Selected

About a month ago we put out a call for the Initial Screening Committee, and we were blown away by the 100+ applications we received from you. Today, we are happy to share that Mayor Siddiqui has announced the appointment of the Initial Screening Committee to help select the next City Manager. This committee will be facilitated by the Executive Search Firm hired to assist the search, Randi Frank LLC. As we have shared with you before, this committee is composed of 4 City Council members and 15 community members/stakeholders who were selected for participation by the ad-hoc committee chaired by Councillor McGovern, and members of the ad-hoc committee Councillor Azeem, Councillor Toner, and Councillor Zondervan. The following applicants were selected:

  • Brian Burke - Resident Advocate 
  • Kathleen Moore - Resident Advocate 
  • Susan Fleischmann - Resident Advocate 
  • Banti Gheneti - Resident Advocate
  • Mo Barbosa - Health & Human Services Representative 
  • Rachel Weinstein - Cambridge School Committee Representative
  • Christine Elow - Public Safety Advocate 
  • Michael Monestime - City Planner 
  • Vernon Walker - Non Profit Representative
  • Thomas Lucey - Higher Education Representative 
  • B. Kimmerman - Large Business Representative 
  • Jason Alves - Small Business Representative 
  • Elaine DeRosa - Affordable Housing Advocate 
  • Chris Cassa - Arts/Recreation Advocate 
  • James Kaufman - Municipal Finance Representative 

For more information on the Initial Search Committee, read the Mayor’s update here.

Going once, going twice...

Thank you to all who have completed an application to be on the City Manager Initial Screening Committee. We’re excited by the number of community members who have already volunteered to be part of this important phase of our search. With just 2 days left, we want to remind you that the deadline for applications is this Thursday, March 31 at 5:00 PM.  

Participants can specify any needed assistance (language, financial and interview skills) when completing the application form. As a reminder, all interested volunteers for the City Manager Initial Search Committee must be available in-person on ALL OF the following dates/times: 


Wednesday, May 4, 2022: 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Thursday, May 12, 2022: 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Friday, May 13, 2022: 9:00AM – 5:00PM




And while we have you…

There has been so much feedback from our community engagement phase, we’ve rounded up some of the highlights of what was shared. Head over to the "Themes" tab for a snapshot of the issues you and your neighbors are talking about in Cambridge. As always, we ask that you share this page with your friends and the community!

You the People…

As part of the next phase of our process, the City Manager search team is seeking volunteers to be part of the Initial Screening Committee. The Initial Screening Committee will be made up of Cambridge residents and stakeholders from a variety of community and professional backgrounds represented as follows:


  • City Council members (4 members of City Council)
  • Resident representatives who have demonstrated advocacy in support of community needs (3 Cambridge residents)
  • Business related representatives with demonstrated partnership experience, ideally from a large and a small business (2 representatives)
  • Representative from the Cambridge School Committee
  • Public Safety representative - Police/Fire departments (1 CPD/CFD representative)
  • Person with demonstrated knowledge of municipal finance (1 Finance representative)
  • Health and Human Services/Public Health representative (1 Health/Human Service representative)
  • Representative with knowledge of City Planning and Development - experience in urban design and transportation issues preferred (1 Planning/Development representative)
  • Higher education/institutional partner (1 representative)
  • Public art and/or recreational representative (1 representative)
  • Affordable housing advocate (1 representative)
  • Non-profit community representative (1 representative)
  • Representative who advocates for the quality of our community’s civic and social wellbeing (1 representative)


Once formed, the Initial Screening Committee will meet to review applicant submission and interview candidates. Our consulting partner, Randi Frank LLC, will be available to arrange support to the Initial Screening Committee volunteers requiring assistance with language services (ESOL and/or ASL interpreting), interviewing skills, and/or limited financial assistance (small stipend).



All interested volunteers for the City Manager Initial Search Committee must be available in-person on ALL OF the following dates/times: 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022: 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Thursday, May 12, 2022: 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Friday, May 13, 2022: 9:00AM – 5:00PM



Follow the link here to apply for the City Manager Initial Screening Committee. Applications will be accepted until 5:00PM on Thursday, March 31, 2022. 


Our team is committed to having a broad representation of the community participating on this committee. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for the committee please apply OR share this update and link within your networks. If you have questions about the committee or how to apply, email Alanna Mallon, amallon@cambridgema.gov


We look forward to meeting some of you in this next exciting, step in our process!

Profile Loading…

We are excited to announce that the Leadership Profile for our next City Manager is complete! Thanks to your input here, 20+ hours of community conversations, and public comments from our town hall, we were able to put together a document that encompasses both the opportunities and challenges for the incoming City Manager and incorporates many of the hopes and concerns we heard from many of you throughout the community. As of today, the Cambridge City Manager position is posted and accepting applications.


What’s Next?

In keeping with our timeline, our consulting partner Randi Frank, LLC will be reaching out to potential applicants (including those suggested via your feedback), collecting applications, and conducting the initial screening and evaluation of potential candidates. The rest of our team will be working to put together the Initial Screening Committee, which will be made up of self-nominated Cambridge participants representing a wide variety of topic areas including renters, homeowners, members of our non-profit community, affordable housing advocates, public safety, planning and higher education partners, to name a few. Watch out for our next update, which will include the nomination form and more details about participation in the Initial Screening Committee.


Is This Thing (Still) On?

While we’re wrapping up our community engagement phase of this search, we want to stay in touch with all of you, and keep you informed as we work toward final interviews and appointment of the next City Manager. We will keep posting updates here on this page, and you can also find information including links to past public meetings and documents on the City of Cambridge website by following the link here.

The Draft Leadership Profile has been posted!

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the City Manager search process over the last 6 weeks! Yesterday we had a very productive Government Operations, Rules and Claims committee hearing where we reviewed a draft of the Leadership Profile, which will be posted once it is finalized to begin recruiting candidates.

We cannot thank the residents and stakeholders enough who have engaged in this process. Your voices and feedback have helped us shape the Leadership Profile, and informed who we are looking for in the next City Manager! 

If you were not able to join us for yesterday's meeting, the recording is here:


Please join us next​ Wednesday at 1p.m. for a follow up Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee meeting where the Government Operations, Rules and Claims committee will finalize the draft for posting. This meeting will be virtual on zoom. To join us click here.

Tomorrow is the last day to provide feedback!

Tomorrow is the last day of February (!!) which means that it's the LAST day to provide feedback to be included in the City Manager Leadership Profile draft. This draft will be reviewed on Wednesday, March 2nd at 2pm at the Government Operations, Rules and Claims meeting.

If you haven't already, be sure to share this link with as many people as you know so we can collect the most diverse and representative feedback possible

We are so grateful to the over 730 stakeholders who have provided close to 4500 pieces of unique feedback on this website this month, and to the dozens of stakeholders who participated in focus groups (see the feedback tab for more info on these), and residents who sent emails directly to our Executive Search Firm, Randi Frank.

Thanks to your time and input, we will have a job description that fully encompasses the professional qualifications and personal attributes we are looking for in the next City Manager and the challenges and opportunities that exist. This leadership profile is critical to ensuring we attract the candidates that best fit the needs of the City and its residents and stakeholders.

Please join us on Wednesday for the Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee Meeting on March 2, 2022, where Randi Frank will present the draft Leadership Profile and job description. You can access the meeting via Zoom here, but if you can't be there it will be recorded and we will post that here as well!

Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?

While we might be in for 6 more weeks of winter weather, there’s just one week left to comment over on our feedback tab with your thoughts on Cambridge’s next City Manager. We've been blown away by the 700+ (WOW!) of you who have taken the time to reflect and share what is important to you. We can't stress enough how impactful your feedback is for the Council as they make this crucial hiring decision. If you haven’t checked back in a while, take a look at what your neighbors have had to say in the comments.

With the end of February comes the end of our Community Engagement phase and the creation of the City Manager Leadership Profile. Our consultant Randi Frank has been taking all of your feedback, as well as information from surveys, our Town Hall, and meetings with various stakeholder groups, and weaving it into the profile of the candidate we are looking for. Comments on this site will close at the end of this week, and we anticipate the City Manager position to be officially posted at the end of February/beginning of March. If you haven't already, be sure to share this link with as many people as you know so we can collect the most diverse and representative feedback possible

We are looking forward to our next Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee Meeting on March 2, 2022, where we will present and review the Leadership Profile and job description. Be sure to join us via Zoom, and as always, keep checking here for updates and to follow the timeline as we get through the next phases of this process.

Thank you to all who attended the Resident Town Hall - video available

Wow! Thank you to the over 70 people who came to Wednesday's Resident Town Hall Meeting and to everyone who shared their thoughts on what they would like to see in the next City Manager!

Did you miss the meeting, but curious what people had to say? Check out the video here.

The coUrbanize site will be collecting feedback until February 28th, that's only 10 more days to hear from as many and as varied community members as possible. You can help by sharing this page in your community. Copy this link: https://www.cambridgecitymanagersearch.com/ and share it with your Cambridge family, neighbors, classmates, and friends!

Reminder: Town Hall TONIGHT!

We hope to see you at the Government Operations/Resident Town Hall tonight, Wednesday February 16, 2022 at 6:00pm. You can attend in person or virtually! The meeting will be live translated in 4 languages; Spanish, Haitian Creole, Amharic and Cantonese.

Esta reunión será traducida en vivo al español.

Reyinyon sa a pral tradui an panyòl.

ይህ ስብሰባ በቀጥታ በስፓኒሽ ይተረጎማል።


Here's how to access this meeting:

If you'd like to provide feedback tonight, or ask a question, follow this link to sign up for Public Comment: https://www.cambridgema.gov/Departments/citycouncil/publiccommentsignupform

See you tonight!

Now You're Talking!

Thank you all for your great thoughts and ideas so far! If you haven’t yet, check out what your neighbors are saying in the feedback tab. You can post replies and support your favorite comments by clicking the thumbs up button under each comment. 

As we get closer to creating the profile of our next City Manager, it’s important that we hear from as many and as varied community members as possible. You can help by sharing this page in your community. Copy this link: https://www.cambridgecitymanagersearch.com/ and share it with your Cambridge family, neighbors, classmates, and friends. Everyone is also welcome to attend (in-person or virtual) the Government Operations Resident Town Hall next Wednesday, February 16 from 6pm — 8pm. We hope to hear/see you then!

And We're Off!

Hello and thank you to everyone who has visited this site and added your voice over on the ‘Feedback’ tab. We are reading your comments and replies to the questions and collecting valuable insight that will help guide the search team as they develop a leadership profile. We hope that you are also enjoying hearing from your neighbors and community members as they share their perspectives and what is important to them.

Don’t be a stranger! Hit the ‘Subscribe’ button to stay in the conversation, and share this page with your Cambridge neighbors and friends. We hope to see you at the Government Operations/Resident Town Hall on Wednesday February 16, 2022 at 6:00pm.

The Town Hall is available:

Join us for a resident and stakeholder Town Hall meeting 2/16 at 6pm

We wanted to update you that you can participate in the Community Town Hall on Wednesday, February 16 at 6pm in person or virtually:

If you’re not able to attend the Town Hall meeting, make sure to add your ideas and comments to the feedback page here. We’ll also be posting the recording so you don’t miss out on any new details. Thank you!

Thanks for meeting with us! What’s next?

Thank you to everyone who came out to today's Government Operations, Rules & Claims Meeting. If you missed the meeting, don’t worry, you can watch the recording here.

To recap, during the meeting we presented on the current City Manager search, talked about the timeline, potential focus groups, and how we'll create a search committee.

It was great to hear feedback from both City Councillors and residents who are excited about this search process! We'd love to hear more from everyone, so check back here for upcoming meetings and other ways to get involved!

Please continue to share your feedback and questions in the Feedback section!