Thu January 23, 2014 at LBJ School of Public Affairs, SRH 3.124
Mary K. Suhm served for over eight years as city manager for the City of Dallas. As city manager, Suhm was responsible for the daily operations of the municipal organization. She manages a staff of approximately 13,000 employees and a budget of nearly $3 billion. She was appointed city manager in June 2005 by the Dallas City Council. Prior to her appointment as city manager, Suhm served as interim city manager, first assistant city manager, assistant city manager, executive assistant director of Dallas Police, director of courts, assistant to the Mayor, and branch library manager for the City of Dallas.
During her three decades in municipal government, Mary Suhm has earned a national reputation among public administrators for creativity and innovation. Suhm, who earned master of business administration and master of library science degrees from the University of North Texas, introduced performance measurement, customer service, benchmarking, strategic planning and other common business practices into municipal management operations to assure that Dallas city government runs efficiently, economically, and effectively. She received praise from all levels of government and the community for her leadership during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita after managing a large scale evacuation effort by establishing and operating two major shelters and a Disaster Recovery Center in Dallas.
As a result, she has won numerous awards from her peers including Public Administrator of the Year (2007, American Society for Public Administration—North Texas Chapter). In 2006, the Women’s Council of Dallas County named Suhm “Woman of the Year” and she is also the recipient of the Linda Keithley Award for Women in Public Management given by the North Central Texas Council of Government (1995). In 2008, she received the YMCA Metropolitan Dallas Centennial Award, which honors women who have had the most significant influence on the City during the past century. In 2009 she was honored by the Dallas Historical Society with the Jubilee History Maker award for her work in building a strong business environment to create growth and excellence for the Dallas community. In 2010, The Greater Dallas Planning Council recognized Suhm with the Kessler Award for her commitment to urban design and planning the city’s future.