City of Edmonton

Edmonton, AB


City of Edmonton

The City of Edmonton is a $3 billion organization which delivers over 300 services and programs to nearly one million Edmontonians. The work of the City has a more profound impact than it ever has before. To serve the public and City Council well, the City organization operates with a contingent, flexible approach, anticipating and responding to continual political, economic, environmental, social and technical changes happening around us.

The Executive Leadership Team, comprised of the City Manager and seven Deputy City Managers, leads the corporation with a primary focus on integration, shared accountability, and service to Council, business and industry, citizens and staff.

The role of the Deputy City Manager has evolved to support the vision of becoming a “modern municipal corporation” — one that is open and responsive to the needs of the public, City Council and its employees. Leaders are expected to work in a complex corporation-wide ecosystem, possessing the skills and insight to provide strategic leadership beyond technical expertise.

From large, city-building projects to routine operations and everything in between, the vision below guides the answer to the question we ask City leaders and staff: ‘what do you do and why do you do it?’.


 “Working together, and aligned with Council’s vision, we enable a better life for all Edmontonians.”

Our cultural commitments form the basis for how City of Edmonton staff work together to achieve this vision and serve City Council, the public and each other:

Safe – We value, respect, and protect the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of each other and those we serve.

Helpful – We care about people’s experiences. We work with them and for them to seize opportunities, address challenges, and deliver outstanding service.

Accountable – We are trusted and empowered to embrace our responsibility for our actions, decisions, and behaviours.

Integrated – We get the best results when we align our diverse ideas, knowledge, and efforts in shared purpose.

Excellent – We perform to the highest standard. We passionately pursue innovation and continuously improve ourselves, our teams, and our city.

City Government

Edmonton’s City Council is made up of 13 elected representatives including one Mayor and 12 City Councillors. The Mayor (His Worship Mayor Don Iveson) is elected by all Edmontonians who vote in the civic election. Councillors are elected by voters in the wards they represent.

City Administration
As one of two employees of City Council (the City Auditor being the other), the City Manager is responsible for ensuring the development and implementation of the strategic priorities of the corporation. She leads efforts to align Administration’s work with Council’s core expectations and to advance Council’s priorities around growth and renewal.

City Administration is structured into seven departments, each led by a Deputy City Manager. They include:

  • Citizen Services
  • City Operations
  • Communications and Public Engagement
  • Urban Form and Corporate Strategic Development
  • Integrated Infrastructure Services
  • Employee Services
  • Financial and Corporate Services

The City Manager works in collaboration with the Executive Leadership Team, which includes all Deputy City Managers, to cascade information and issues that require corporate strategic management, to create and sustain safe and respectful workplaces for near 14,000 employees, and to respond to emerging issues that have the potential to affect the operations and reputation of the City, its residents, businesses and stakeholders.

The Urban Form and Corporate Strategic Development

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, the Deputy City Manager is a mature professional who understands the role as a primary agent in the City’s strategic leadership and integration direction. Focusing on creating opportunities and conditions for success for the City is core in working with the Executive Leadership Team, Council, citizens, businesses, community social service sector leaders, industry leaders, educational institutions and political / executive leaders in all orders of government.

Urban Form and Corporate Strategic Development department shapes the way Edmonton grows by planning changes to its urban form, stewarding the environment, fostering prosperity, and setting corporate strategic direction to move our city towards the Edmonton envisioned by the citizens we serve.

The Department consists of more than 700 employees divided into four branches and other major department initiatives. The work of the department concentrates on planning and executing development, increasing investment to the region and managing Edmonton’s environmental sustainability to meet the needs of today and the future. An important priority is transforming the way the City, through this department, provides service to and works with industry and the business community.

Direct reports include:
Branch Manager, City Planning; Branch Manager, Development Services; Branch Manager, Regional Economic and Environmental Sustainability; Branch Manager, Corporate Strategic Development; and Manager, Edmonton Exhibition Lands Transformation.

The Opportunity

As members of the Executive Leadership Team, Deputy City Managers, individually and collectively, are the primary Agents of the City Manager’s strategic management and integration accountability.

Defining an intentional corporate strategy on an integrated basis is at the centre of role responsibility for all Deputy City Managers. Accountable for carrying out the corporate strategy through the work of the department they lead, Deputy City Managers are truly integration managers. This role requires a leader committed to serving others, with specific focus on:

  • Taking a City Council and citizen-centric perspective and approach.
  • Operating at a high degree of credibility by meeting/exceeding expectations in the effective and consistent delivery of services.
  • Securing a high degree of employee engagement.
  • Creating a broad cascading focus on how work is completed, rather than a narrow focus on technical production.
  • Ensuring an effective and efficient use of resources in the achievement of outcomes.
  • Providing well-formed recommendations, advice and options for the consideration of the Executive Leadership Team.
  • Maintaining fiscal responsibility.
  • Modelling the City’s cultural commitments, motivating and inspiring staff to do the same.

Key Responsibilities

Culture and Leadership

  • Work with the members of the Executive Leadership Team to provide corporate leadership that delivers on City Council’s priorities.
  • Establish, demonstrate and hold others accountable to behave consistently with the values of the corporation’s cultural commitments.
  • Ensure that values are reflected in department processes, practices, leadership style and culture, and enables and enriches deep and meaningful connections with citizens, communities, City Council, and employees.

Strategic Management


  • Build a deep understanding of the overall corporate context, direction and priorities and translate this into department strategies and priorities. Support, sponsor and mobilize corporate initiatives.
  • Actively participate in the development of strategies and translate this direction into department level strategies.
  • Apply critical thinking to the strategic management and decision-making processes of the corporation and department.
  • Bring an external perspective (gained through interactions with community, industry and other external stakeholders) to the strategic process.
  • Fully embrace the corporation’s integration agenda and share the responsibility for strategic integration of activities within and between Communications and Engagement and all of the City’s business units.


  • Lead a modern department that has the respect of City Council, staff, industry, and citizens.
  • Lead a service delivery model that achieves outcomes and empowers staff. Oversee the Department’s strategic policy and planning processes, forecasting and conducting best practice research and analysis to guide Department and Council decision making.
  • Lead development of Department and Branch strategy and business planning.
  • Ensure Department and Branch strategic priorities are delivered, utilizing integrative thought processes and a highly collaborative framework.
  • Proactively building networks, connecting and building trust in relationships with different stakeholders.

Systems Alignment

  • Create the social (human) systems necessary to deliver the technical work of the corporation and department.
  • Assure the alignment of structure processes, competencies, leadership style and culture to the strategy of the corporation and department.
  • Build and sustain the capacity of teams and individuals necessary to deliver strategy.

Oversight and Assurance

  • Assure the effectiveness of the corporate and departmental systems through comprehensive, accurate and transparent reporting and performance management.

Financial Stewardship

  • Ensure the prudent and effective use of financial resources in the conceptualization and delivery of the corporation’s and department’s work.

Relationship Management

  • Create, leverage and maintain relationships necessary to advance the corporate and departmental strategy and reputation of the corporation. This includes building and sustaining professional relationships with Executive Leadership Team, peers, Council, citizens, industry/sector leaders, business partners and staff.

The Ideal Candidate

The Deputy City Manager, Urban Form and Corporate Strategic Development will have a level of education commensurate with this senior administrative role:

  • 15+ years in progressive leadership positions in complex, business operations. It would be an asset to have experience working in / for large and complex organizations (i.e. municipal government, provincial government or the private sector).
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related discipline, with a Master’s degree being advantageous in an area such as Land- Use Planning, Architecture, Engineering, Business or Public Administration.
  • Knowledge of land-use policies, plans, and legislation along with hands on experience in the city-building process is a significant asset.
  • Demonstrated experience as a leader who is a visionary, credible and trusted role model who inspires and challenges others to achieve their full potential.
  • Has a track record of developing credibility and earning the respect of internal and external stakeholders. A strong and comfortable communicator who would present well in front of Council, its Committees, the general public and the media. Proven ability to be able to “think on their feet.”
  • Politically astute and diplomatic. Strong knowledge of change management.
  • An ability to definitively demonstrate effective and efficient use of resources in the achievement of outcomes.
  • Demonstrated track record of recognizing organizational change as a human, not (only) a technical process.

Personal Attributes

  • Values align to culture commitments
  • Adaptability
  • Political awareness (ability to read and understand the political / strategic environment)
  • Commit to reflection and self-awareness; accurate self-insight; seeks the perspective of others
  • Personal drive – energy, integrity and passion
  • Achieve outcomes, drive for results
  • Focus on continuous improvement
  • Adopt a citizen-centric perspective and approach
  • Recognizes that multiple perspectives should be applied to complex issues
  • Engaging approach which encourages meaningful dialogue around stakeholder groups
  • Solution-focused with an ability to reconcile multiple viewpoints
  • Comfort operating in an ambiguous environment
  • Integrity and honesty
  • Team player

Imagine Edmonton I Authentic, Attitude-Changing and Sustainable

When people visit Edmonton or move here from elsewhere, they see there’s a uniqueness to how Edmontonians do ordinary things. People have chosen this bend of the North Saskatchewan river for thousands of years to celebrate that uniqueness, and that quiet spirit remains today.

With a growing and vibrant downtown core, and exciting developments within old and new areas, Edmonton is enjoying an undeniable renaissance felt by residents and visitors alike. The city has grown, yet has managed to maintain its humble roots. We’re a place that is open to newcomers and new ideas, where we use ingenuity to solve problems and go after opportunities, and where people revel in the chance to work together to move things forward.

There’s a lot to love about Edmonton – from its vast ribbon of green space along the river valley to its vibrant arts and music scene, and a restaurant culture that’s gaining national recognition. Close to one million people are proud to call Edmonton home with a metropolitan population of over 1.3m.

Council’s strategic plan provides the direction for the City by expressing the community’s vision for the future and identifying Council’s strategic goals and principles to progress towards this vision over a ten year period.

With extensive internal work and public engagement, Council has approved components of the strategic plan for 2019-2028, which includes an aspirational vision for 2050 that serves as a lens to guide decision-making for the term of the plan. The new plan will go through a naming process and will be finalized in 2019.

The foundational components of Council’s strategic plan for 2019 – 2028, were approved by Council on June 12, 2018. This included:

  • Council’s updated vision for Edmonton in 2050
  • One principle which will guide City Council’s decision making
  • Four 10-year strategic goals which will influence the delivery of City services


In compliance and consistent with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), HumanEdge shall respect the privacy and confidentiality of all personal information provided directly or indirectly verbally, electronically or in print in the process of engaging with candidates in our search assignments.

This document may be subject to change.

Expressions of interest resumes or questions regarding this opportunity should be communicated to:

Ken Glover, BSc., RPR
Partner, Executive & Professional Search
HumanEdge Global