The Hamilton City Council unanimously appointed Joshua A. Smith as Hamilton's 17th City Manager, with Mr. Smith being sworn into office on September 7, 2010 at the age of 36. As the Chief Executive Officer of the City, he is responsible for a $320+ million All Funds budget and oversight of 600 City employees. Hamilton, Ohio's Charter established the City Manager form of government in 1926.
Since his arrival, he has worked collaboratively with City Council, City Staff and community stakeholders on several new initiatives including the creation of the CORE Fund (a non-profit entity whose primary focus is downtown real estate adaptive reuse projects), 17Strong (neighborhood improvement program to better focus capital improvements based on resident desire), an online 311 system to report issues to appropriate City departments in a timely fashion, a reorganization of City departments to better focus on desired citizen outcomes and a new strategic planning framework (OGSM) modeled after Proctor & Gamble's strategic model that is linked to robust annual operating budget and performance measurement processes. Indicating transparency was critical to good government at his time of hiring, many initiatives have been launched including utilizing a broad social media platform to provide public information, placing the City’s “checkbook” online through OpenGov and working with the Finance Department to produce GFOA award-winning documents to better convey how tax dollars are being spent.
Mr. Smith is actively involved in the Hamilton community, including being a member of the Hamilton Rotary Club, serving as a Trustee on the Downtown Hamilton Special Improvement District and sitting on the Executive Boards for the following entities: Hamilton Economic Development Corporation, Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Vision 2020 Commission. Regionally, he serves (or has served) on the Cincinnati USA Partnership’s Community Partners Committee, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments Board of Directors and is a member of the Cincinnati Area Management Association (CAMA).
He received a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Public Management from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Organizational Behavior & Management from the University of Sioux Falls.
Mr. Smith is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University (2012) and in 2015 completed two courses “Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems” and “Creating High Velocity Organizations” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He graduated from the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service Senior Executive Institute (2006) and the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute (2000). Other professional programs he has completed include Leadership ICMA (Class of 2008), ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute (Class of 2009), the 20th class of Leadership Hamilton (Class of 2011) and the 36th class of Leadership Cincinnati (Class of 2013).
In January 2014, Mr. Smith was named to one of thirteen to watch on Cincy Magazine’s annual Power 100 List. He was the recipient of the Development Counsellors International (DCI) first ever Forty Under 40 Award in January 2013, which was awarded at the International Economic Development Association’s Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. This award recognizes individuals worldwide for their placemaking and economic development skills. Also in 2013 he was recognized by the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40 as one of the “next generation of young leaders and innovators”. In 2012, the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of American Society for Public Administration (GCC-ASPA) awarded Mr. Smith the Administrator of the Year Individual Contributor Award.
In October 2013 he was one of 300 invited urbanists from North America and Europe that convened in Pittsburgh at the second Remaking Cities Congress to discuss the future of post-industrial cities (the first Congress was held in 1988 and was co-chaired by Prince Charles and David Lewis). In April 2013 he was an invited delegate to attend the New York Times Energy for Tomorrow Conference, held in midtown Manhattan, which focused on reinventing cities with initiatives focused on sustainability and energy efficiency.
He received the Credentialed Manager designation by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in July 2008. He formerly served on the national Center for Performance Measurement Leadership Committee and the ICMA International Committee. Additionally, he has presented at ICMA conferences in Montreal, Quebec; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia and Corpus Christi, Texas on topics ranging from performance measurement to organizational behavior.
He began his career as unpaid intern for the City of Waukee, Iowa while in graduate school, where he eventually was promoted to Director of Economic Development/Deputy City Administrator.