Mayor Rybak to Nominate Jeremy Hanson Willis as CPED Director
Mayor’s chief of staff closely involved in wide range of economic-development and job-creation efforts
April 3, 2012 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will nominate Jeremy Hanson Willis to be the next director of the City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED).
Hanson Willis has served as Mayor Rybak’s chief of staff since 2009. In that role, he has also been the Mayor’s primary liaison with CPED. As a result, he has developed a deep understanding of how one of Minneapolis’ most complex departments works: how CPED’s disparate pieces can cohere better internally to be more effective, how it can collaborate across the enterprise to advance City goals and how it can work with external partners to grow the metro-area economy.
Mayor Rybak said, “Jeremy has been central to shaping a vision for Minneapolis’ economic future. I have seen him stay strategically focused while navigating complicated issues, and bring a wide range of parties to agreement. He has the support of top leadership at the department and the confidence of external partners at every level.
“Jeremy is equal parts problem solver and relationship builder. He is the right person to lead this critically important department to even greater accomplishments,” Mayor Rybak continued.
City Council Member Lisa Goodman, chair of the Community Development Committee, said, “I have known Jeremy and worked with him closely for many years. I have confidence in his ability to lead this complex department and appreciate his passion for community- and economic-development issues.”
“I am both honored and excited about the opportunity to serve the city in this new role,” said Hanson Willis. “Minneapolis is a world-class living and working city, fueled by a growing population, locally-grown small businesses, and major corporations. With a sharp focus and clearly articulated vision, I am confident that the City government can play a vital role in keeping our local economy growing for everyone.”
Hanson Willis has worked for the City of Minneapolis since 2005, first serving as Mayor Rybak’s communications director before becoming chief of staff. Immediately prior to joining the City of Minneapolis, he was a communications consultant at the public-relations firm Tunheim Partners, where he supported public-advocacy campaign coalition building, media relations and grassroots advocacy. Previously, he spent nearly 10 years in nonprofit issue advocacy, including for the Minneapolis Smoke-Free Coalition and the Minnesota AIDS Project.
Hanson Willis is a graduate of Macalester College and lives in the Windom Park neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis.
Mayor Rybak will nominate Hanson Willis at the next meeting of the City’s Executive Committee on April 18. The appointment will initially be made on an interim basis, with final confirmation to a full term within 90 days.
Published Apr. 3, 2012