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 at the age of 36. As the Chief Executive Officer of the City, he is responsible for a $400-plus million all funds budget and oversight of 625 City employees. He is a member of the Hamilton Rotary Club, the downtown Special Improvement District, the Hamilton Vision Commission and the Hamilton Economic Development Corporation.

Mr. Smith received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a concentration in Public Management 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 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). In 2015, he completed 2 courses “Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems” and “Creating High Velocity Organizations” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 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, loosely 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 areas that local residents truly desire; created the City’s first Online 311 system in 2010 to report issues to appropriate City departments in a timely fashion, while promoting city accountability; and a continued push on making Hamilton a national leader in clean energy production due to its hydroelectric assets on the Ohio River.

Since his arrival in 2010, the City organization has been restructured by eliminating or combining departments to achieve better operational results and efficiency. The departments created since 2010 include the Department of Resident Services, the Department of Strategy & Information, and the Department of Project Implementation. In addition to the reorganizations, a new strategic planning framework (OGSM) - modeled after Fortune 100 Proctor and Gamble's strategic process – was introduced and is now linked to more clearly to the annual operating budget, performance evaluation, and performance measurement processes.


In January 2014, Mr. Smith was named to one of 13 to watch on Cincy Magazine’s annual Power 100 List. 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. 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 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, 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.   He has presented on topics ranging from performance measurement to organizational behavior at ICMA conferences/committees in Corpus Christi, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; Montreal, Quebec and Rotorua, New Zealand.