Today, Mayor Jacob Frey nominated Margaret Anderson Kelliher to the appointed role of City Operations Officer for the City of Minneapolis. Anderson Kelliher has a long and proven track record of leading complex and strategic government work, especially in times of change. She has held top roles for the Minnesota House of Representatives, State of Minnesota Department of Transportation, and currently for the City of Minneapolis’ Public Works Department.
As City Operations Officer, Anderson Kelliher would oversee the City’s Office of Public Service and its 17 departments, including the 311 Service Center, Regulatory Services, Race, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, Community Planning and Economic Development, and Communications. She would also provide enterprise-wide leadership and direction to thousands of employees to ensure the delivery of high-quality, coordinated city services.
“Every mayor in the country needs a leader like Margaret Anderson Kelliher – someone who has been navigating challenges and solving problems for their entire public service career,” said Mayor Frey. “Margaret’s governing resume is second to none and her community ties are built over decades – that combination of commitment and expertise is exactly what we need in our City Operations Officer. I know she is the right person to continue building out the Office of Public Service as a hub of effective, efficient, and equitable government services for Minneapolis residents, and I’m grateful for her willingness to continue serving the City of Minneapolis in this capacity.”
“Public service is defined by those who show up every day to serve the community they love and care about – and that’s exactly what the team in the Office of Public Service does,” said Anderson Kelliher. “I am excited to continue working with our incredible City staff on behalf of the Minneapolis community and deliver effective, efficient, and equitable services to all residents. I’m grateful to Mayor Frey for placing his trust in me, and I look forward to cultivating and shaping the future work of the City of Minneapolis.”
Anderson Kelliher was confirmed unanimously as the City’s Public Works Director in February 2022 and has led on the City’s infrastructure projects, including the street reconstruction in downtown and North Minneapolis in conjunction with the Upper Harbor Terminal project, partnering with Hennepin County to re-envision safety and transportation needs on East Lake Street, and managing the overhaul of the City’s stormwater tunnel system.
Last winter alone, Minneapolis saw its eighth's snowiest winter on record. Under Anderson Kelliher’s leadership, the City opened free, public parking during Snow Emergencies to make sure that residents could store their cars safely. Once the snow melted, Public Works crews got to work filling potholes -- and Anderson Kelliher’s team filled more potholes this year compared to any other year since 2013.
Before coming to the City, Anderson Kelliher led the State of Minnesota’s Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for three years under Governor Tim Walz. As MnDOT Commissioner, Anderson Kelliher directed over 5,000 employees and oversaw the delivery of multi-modal transportation systems across the state. She also managed relationships with a group of diverse elected leaders and public servants, deployed billions in funding for construction projects, shaped policy, and helped pass Minnesota’s largest transportation funding legislation in over two decades.
Between 2010 and 2018, Anderson Kelliher worked as the President and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association (now MnTech) for eight years, where she helped implement and direct innovative science and technology businesses across Minnesota. Anderson Kelliher also served in the Minnesota State Legislature, most notably as Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011. There, she served as the principal spokesperson for the House and Legislature while managing a $29.1 million operations budget, over 300 employees, and the development of policies and programs that enhanced the work-life balance of employees across the state.
Prior to rising to the role of House Speaker, Anderson Kelliher represented Minneapolis in the House of Representatives for over a decade, providing collaborative and innovative leadership to constituents in one of the city’s most diverse districts. Anderson Kelliher worked together with community members and business leaders to pass legislation important to residents. She also launched a climate change summit in the Legislature, helping pave the way for the state’s nation-leading renewable energy standard.
Outside of her professional career as a public servant, Anderson Kelliher has spent decades giving back to the communities around her. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School, and she has served on dozens of local boards and committees, including the Minnesota 4-H Foundation, YWCA of Minneapolis, the Textile Center of Minnesota, the Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council Board, Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Minnesota State Board of Trustees, and as Chair of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force from 2011 to 2018.
Anderson Kelliher holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College.
The mayor’s nomination will be transmitted to the full City Council for consideration at its November 16 meeting.
The Office of Public Service
Under the newly approved government structure, the COO is one of four direct reports to the mayor and oversees the Office of Public Service (OPS). The COO is responsible for providing enterprise-wide leadership and direction to ensure the delivery of high-quality, coordinated city services.
The OPS departments and core functions will include internal services; communications and engagement services; and development, health, and livability services. These departments primarily support the work of the enterprise, address community health and livability, foster racial equity, and administer performance management.