Initial Screening Committee Announces City Manager Finalists

Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City of Cambridge People Director Sheila Keady Rawson, co-chairs of Cambridge City Manager’s initial selection committee, announced the names of the four finalist candidates who will be forwarded to the full council council for review.

The four finalists are:

Iram Farouk – Ms Farooq is currently Deputy City Manager of the Community Development Department (CDD) for the City of Cambridge since 2015. Previously she was Head of Policy and Planning at CDD and Senior Project Manager for Land Use and Zoning from 1999. Ms. Farooq holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture with a particular focus on land use planning from Harvard University.

Cheryl WatsonFisher – Ms. Fisher is currently the Municipal Solicitor for the City of Chelsea, MA since 2003. She was Deputy Municipal Solicitor for the City of Cambridge from 1999 to 2003. Previously, she was Deputy Regional Solicitor II for the Commonwealth Department of Social Services MA and field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Boston. Ms. Fisher holds a Juris Doctor (law degree) from Boston College.

Yi An Huang – Mr. Huang is currently Executive Director of Clinical Operations at Boston Medical Center (BMC) Hospital since 2021. Between 2018 and 2021, he served as Director of Transformation and Senior Director – Population Health Analytics for the BMC health plan. From 2013 to 2018, he served as Senior Director of Clinical Operations, Director of Strategy and Senior Project Manager for BMC Hospital. Mr. Huang holds an MBA from Harvard University.

Norman Khumalo – Mr. Khumalo is currently City Manager of Hopkinton, MA since 2009. He was Deputy City Manager of Westford, MA from 2002 to 2009, and served for 6 months as Acting City Manager. Previously, he was an urban planner, planner and transportation project manager in Massachusetts. He also worked from 1993 to 1997 with Oxfam America in the Boston office and worked in planning in Zimbabwe. Mr. Khumalo holds a Masters in Public Administration from Carleton University, Canada and a Masters in Regional and Urban Planning from the University of Zimbabwe.

A “Meet the Finalists” forum will be held on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, from 6-9 p.m., in the Fitzgerald Auditorium at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, where members of the public will have the opportunity to hear from each finalist in person or on Channel 99 about his vision for the city and answer questions.

City Council will conduct public interviews with the finalists on Wednesday, June 1, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Sullivan Room, 2nd Floor, Cambridge City Hall, which the public can view in person, at 10 p.m. CityView (the cable channel) and live online via Zoom.

City Council is expected to vote to appoint the next City Manager at a special City Council meeting on Monday, June 6, which the public can view in person, on 22-CityView, and live online via Zoom.

The initial selection committee was appointed by an ad hoc committee of city council and consisted of 15 community members representing constituencies across the city and four members of city council. Randi Frank, LLC, the executive search firm hired to assist with the recruiting and hiring process, presented a diverse group of nearly 30 candidates for committee review. The pre-selection committee carried out an in-depth examination of 10 candidates on May 12 and 13.

“I would like to thank the 15 community members who spent three days vetting and interviewing candidates for the position of City Manager,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “I am grateful for their work and for helping to move the research process forward.”

Members of the initial selection committee included resident representatives Kathleen Moore, Banti Gheneti, Brian Burke and Susan Fleischmann; Big Business Representative B. Kimmerman; Small Business Representative Jason Alves; Rachel Weinstein, representative of the Cambridge School Board; Public Safety Representative Christine Elow; someone with proven knowledge of City Finance Representative James Kaufman; Health and Social Services/Public Health Representative Mo Barbosa; person knowledgeable about urban planning/urban development representative Michael Monestime; Chris Cassa, representing public art and/or recreation; affordable housing advocate Elaine DeRosa; the Reverend Vernon Walker, nonprofit community representative; higher education representative Thomas Lucey; and Councilmen Dennis Carlone, Patty Nolan, E. Denise Simmons and Mayor Siddiqui.

The interviews conducted by the initial screening committee were preceded by nearly 20 recorded community focus groups, feedback received through our dedicated City Manager Search website, and town hall meetings of residents and staff, which all lead to the development of a leadership profile used during the recruitment phase.

For more information on the City Manager search process, please visit www.cambridgema.gov/CityManagerSearch.

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