Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has announced six new City Hall hires as he continues to fill out his cabinet and other top posts in multiple city departments. Karrie Howard, the existing Public Safety Director, will stay on in his role, which will now be styled as Chief Public Safety Officer. The rest are new faces, transplants from private and public positions elsewhere in Cuyahoga County and in Washington D.C.
“The addition of key roles in our cabinet will enable us to maximize our financial position and work towards becoming a more modern and responsive city hall,” Bibb said, in a press release. “As we continue to build our team, we’re focused on combining wisdom with fresh perspectives to deliver on our commitments to the residents of Cleveland.”
In the city's top financial role, Bibb has hired Ahmed Abonamah, currently the Director of the Office of Credit Ratings for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Abonamah is an attorney who has worked for the SEC in multiple roles over the past six years, and worked previously for CMSD after graduating from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2008.
Jeff Epstein is currently the executive director of the community development corporation Midtown Cleveland Inc. He has been hired by Bibb to serve as the Chief of Integrated Development, a new role that will oversee both the community development and building and housing departments. Bibb has hired Alyssa Hernandez and Sally Martin to helm those, respectively.
Hernandez is a Chicago native who worked most recently as the Bureau Chief within the Office of Long-Term Resiliency at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Martin has been the housing director for the City of South Euclid Since 2008 and has been a key member of a number of regional housing coalitions. In both capacities, she has been at the forefront of policy discussions on tenant protections.
Finally, as Chief Operating Officer, Bibb has tapped Bonnie Teeuwen, who served as Cuyahoga County's first Director of Public Works when the position was created by the new county charter. Most recently, Teeuwen has served as the Director of Transportation and Municipal Engineering for Osborn Engineering.
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