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Austin announces new Assistant City Manager



AUSTIN, TX – City Manager Spencer Cronk has selected Stephanie Hayden-Howard as the next Assistant City Manager (ACM) for Health & Environment and Culture & Lifelong Learning after completing a recruitment process that attracted the interest of candidates from across the nation. She will start her new position on May 10, 2021.

Hayden-Howard has extensive management experience working for the City of Austin. Most recently, as Director of Austin Public Health. In that role, she was instrumental in driving the department’s ability to protect the public health of Austin and Travis County residents from infectious diseases and environmental threats and educate them about the benefits of healthful behaviors in avoiding chronic diseases.

“I am very happy to announce Stephanie Hayden-Howard as the City’s next Assistant City Manager for Health & Environment and Culture & Lifelong Learning. Her experience in public health matters and management principles are crucial to driving the City’s programs to ensure services are provided equitably in our community,” said City Manager Spencer Cronk.

The ACM for Health & Environment and Culture & Lifelong Learning is responsible for providing bold and inclusive leadership to advance the assigned outcomes and strategies outlined in the City’s Strategic Direction.

Hayden-Howard will oversee the following portfolio of city departments which includes $394.4 million in budget and over 2,600 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs):

  • Parks and Recreation – 744.75 FTEs, $109.7 million budget
  • Austin Resource Recovery – 501 FTEs, $106.8 million budget
  • Austin Public Library – 445.6 FTEs, $58.9 million budget
  • Austin Public Health – 547.5 FTEs, $103.0 million budget
  • Animal Services – 114 FTEs, $16.0 million budget

“I’m honored to be appointed as the City’s next Assistant City Manager for Health & Environment and Culture & Lifelong Learning and look forward to the challenges and opportunities in this new role to provide solutions that are cross-departmental in nature and involve collaboration with community stakeholders to meet the needs of area residents,” said Hayden-Howard.

Recognizing that Austinites are instrumental to preserving and improving community health, our environment, Austin’s culture, and expanding lifelong learning, Hayden-Howard will be scheduling public meetings with community members in the coming months.

Hayden-Howard began her career with the City of Austin 20 years ago. During that time, she held several positions with progressive responsibilities, including supervisor, manager, assistant director, deputy director, and most recently, as Director of APH. Prior to working for the City, she worked as the Director of Clinical Services at the Alternative Learning Center with Austin Independent School District and Assistant Director at the Williamson County Mental Health Center.

She is a Licensed Master Social Worker and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work from Prairie View A & M University and a Master’s in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University Worden School of Social Services.

The search for the ACM began in December 2020, when former Assistant City Manager Chris Shorter announced his departure to become the City Administrator of Baltimore. Shannon Jones, former Director of Austin Public Health, began serving as the Interim Assistant City Manager in January 2021. During the recruitment for the permanent ACM, Mr. Jones oversaw a number of City priorities, including homelessness, key elements of the City’s COVID-19 response, and parks and open spaces.

As a result of Hayden-Howard’s appointment, current APH Assistant Director Adrienne Sturrup will serve as the Interim APH Director while a search for the next Austin Public Health director begins in the coming months.