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City Manager in Residence Program

The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership introduced the City Manager in Residence Program in 2011, as part of a collaborative effort developed by the California International City Manager Association (Cal-ICMA) to offer students in graduate public policy and public administration programs the opportunity to learn first-hand from some of the best city managers in California.

The city managers in residence share their experiences with the school's Master of Public Policy candidates over a course of two days on the Malibu campus. In addition to a formal lecture, they serve as a mentor to students specializing in state and local policy, offering career advice and answering questions; address classes in the state and local policy track; and meet with members of the school's student chapter of the International City/County Manager's Association (ICMA).

Current SPP City Manager in Residence 

Matt Bronson

Matt Bronson headshot

As part of the ongoing work of the Davenport Institute to connect students with local government leaders, the Institute and the School of Public Policy welcomes their 9th City Manager in Residence, Matt Bronson, City Manager of Grover Beach, California. The City Manager in Residence Program is part of a collaborative effort developed by the California International City Manager Association (Cal-ICMA) to give students a chance to learn firsthand from some of the leading City Managers in California. This annual program is related to the school's ICMA Student Chapter.

Prior to his service in Grover Beach, Matt worked as the assistant city manager of San Mateo for six years. He also worked as an assistant to the county administrator of Marin as well as the principal administrative analyst of the county of Marin. As the city manager in residence, Bronson will provide students with insight into turning visions, goals, policies, and ideas into reality through working in local government.

Past SPP City Managers in Residence

Lydia Romero headshot

Lydia Romero

Lydia Romero is the City Manager of Lemon Grove, California. A majority-minority city, Lemon Grove has a substantial refugee population and a large Hispanic community. Romero has made it her duty to actively engage residents in this working-class community.
Frank Benest headshot Frank Benest Frank Benest is the former City Manager of Palo Alto, California. He is a noted consultant and trainer on rightsizing public organizations, entrepreneurial government, civic engagement, leadership development and succession planning.
Kurt Wilson speaking Kurt Wilson Kurt Wilson is the city manager for the City of Stockton, California. He arrived in Stockton shortly after the city had declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy and led Stockton through the final stages of that process and turning the city around. In 2015, Stockton was named an All American City.
David Childs speaking at podium Dave Childs Dave Childs is the city manager for the City of Palmdale, California and previously served as assistant county manager for Washoe County, Nevada; as the Wester U.S. director of ICMA; as city manager of the cities of Blue Earth, St. Anthony, New Brighton, and Minnetonka, Minnesota, and the City of South Lake Tahoe in California. He also has experience in regional planning in Minnesota and Arizona.
Magda Gonzales headshot Magda Gonzales Magda Gonzales is the city manager for the City of Half Moon Bay, California and previously served as city manager of East Palo Alto, California. She also has extensive non-profit and community experience, including as a trustee for the Redwood City Elementary School District.
Tim O'Donnell speaking at podium Tim O'Donnell Tim O'Donnell is the city manager for the City of Brea, California and has been active in municipal government for over 34 years. In addition to serving as City Manager and Assistant City Manager of Brea, he has held various positions for the California cities of Signal Hill, Garden Grove, and Bellflower.
Ken Hampian speaking Ken Hampian Ken Hampian is former city manager of San Luis Obispo, California, where he served in that position for nine years. Most recently, Hampian was appointed interim city manager for the troubled city of Bell.
Rod Gould headshot Rod Gould Rod Gould recently retired as city manager of Santa Monica, California. Previously he served as city manager in the California cities of Poway, San Rafael, and Monrovia, as well as assistant city manager of Walnut Creek, California.