Meet the City Manager

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. As the Chief Executive Officer of the City, he is responsible for a $320-plus million All Funds budget and oversight of 675 City employees. 


Mr. Smith received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a concentration in Public Finance from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Organizational Behavior and Management from the University of Sioux Falls.
Joshua Smith
He has completed multiple executive programs including the MIT Sloan Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017), the John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University (2012), 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). 

Mr. Smith has also completed four leadership classes including the 36th class of Leadership Cincinnati (Class of 2013); the 20th class of Leadership Hamilton (Class of 2011); ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute (Class of 2009); and the 2nd class of Leadership ICMA (Class of 2008). 


Mr. Smith has worked collaboratively with City Council, City Staff and community stakeholders on several new initiatives including creating the Hamilton CORE Fund - a non-profit, community centric organization whose primary focus is downtown real estate adaptive reuse projects; the Hamilton Parks Conservancy - an entity modeled after Parks Conservancies in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, that is wholly responsible for improving the operations and capital improvements of all city owned parks; 17Strong – a neighborhood improvement effort to better focus capital improvements and operating funds to Hamilton's 17 unique neighborhoods; created the City’s first Online 311 system in 2010 to promote city accountability; and continues to work with the City's Department of Infrastructure on making Hamilton a national leader in clean energy to further reduce the City's carbon footprint.

Since his arrival as City Manager, the City organization has been restructured to achieve better operational results and efficiency. In addition to the reorganizations, a strategic planning framework (OGSM) - modeled after Fortune 100 Proctor and Gamble's strategic process – was introduced and is now linked more clearly to the annual operating budget, performance evaluation, and performance measurement processes. 

A city-wide, cross-functional Performance Team was established in 2018, which focuses on Lean Six Sigma methodology to systematically remove waste and eliminate unnecessary variation from services.  As the City's General Fund budget expenditures have remained below 2008 spending levels, it becomes more important to fund necessary services by focusing on performance and innovation.


In January 2017, 2018 and 2019, Mr. Smith was named to Cincy Magazine's annual Power 100 List, after being named one of thirteen to watch on Cincy Magazine's annual Power List in January 2014. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Mr. Smith was recognized by the Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) Chris Traeger List as a top 100 influencers in local government.  He was the recipient of the Development Counsellors International (DCI) first ever 40 Under 40 Award in January 2013, which was awarded at the International Economic Development Association’s Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. 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 2nd 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 and July 2015, he was an invited delegate to attend the New York Times Energy for Tomorrow Conference, which focused on reinventing cities with sustainable initiatives.  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.  He has spoken at a wide-range of conferences and symposiums in Canada, New Zealand, the United States and France on topics ranging from managing organizations to urban revitalization.

He has received honorary keys to the following municipalities: Waukee, Iowa; Monticello, Iowa; Cedarburg, Wisconsin and Howard, Wisconsin.