In-house candidate Joshua Wright emerges from a nationwide search and named Chandler city manager

New Chandler city manager Joshua Wright joined the city in 2017 as assistant city manager and has been acting city manager since March. –Chandler photo

Joshua Wright, Chandler’s acting city manager since Marsha Reed resigned in March, has been promoted to the position permanently, the city announced Wednesday.

Chandler City Council will vote on terms of Wright’s contract at its Aug. 12 meeting, marking the completion of a national recruitment.

“I am honored by the mayor and council’s confidence in me to serve as Chandler’s city manager and am excited about our community’s bright future,” Wright said. “As an East Valley native, I have always admired Chandler’s visionary leadership and couldn’t be more excited to serve the city my family and I call home.”

Joshua Wright

Wright was selected from four finalists interviewed July 14-15, who included Milton Dohoney, Jr., former assistant city manager and chief operating officer for Phoenix; Sara Hensley, Denton, Texas, interim city manager;  and Tom Hutka, public works director for Broward County, Fla.

“This is a critical leadership position and Josh offers the skills and professional experience to work with the City Council and the city’s executive-management team to continue delivering outstanding services for Chandler residents and businesses,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said. “Through a five-month recruitment process, we interviewed a number of great candidates for the city manager position and ultimately selected the internal candidate, Joshua Wright.

“Through his role as assistant city manager and in his recent acting position, Joshua has guided the city through many challenges and has led the city to record-setting successes, including the largest private investment project in Arizona’s history with Intel. Joshua has proven himself as a natural and inspiring leader, and I look forward to working alongside him to continue leading this community in the direction of innovation and excellence.”

On March 23, Intel and the city jointly announced that the semiconductor giant will build two new manufacturing plants, adding 3,000 high-paying jobs, in a historic $20 billion expansion at Intel’s Chandler Ocotillo facility. It is the largest private investment of any kind in Arizona history.

Intel annually spends about $1.5 billion with Chandler-based suppliers and another $3 billion with other Arizona-based suppliers. The expansion will  support an additional 15,000 jobs indirectly, according to Intel.  And about 3,000 will be employed during construction of the fabrication facilities. Work is slated to begin late this year.

Chandler’s city manager is among four positions appointed by City Council, the others being city attorney, city clerk and presiding city magistrate.

The city manager oversees Chandler’s day-to-day operations and implements policies adopted by the City Council for Arizona’s fourth-largest city, with a population of more than 268,000. Chandler has been named among the nation’s Best Places to Find a Job and Best Cities for Women in Tech.

Wright joined Chandler in 2017 as assistant city manager to provide administrative oversight of city departments and divisions.

He previously was town manager of Wickenburg for five years. He was assistant to the town manager and director of strategic initiatives for five years in Marana.

Wright is a past president of the Arizona City/County Management Association and received its Associate’s Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2010. He was Arizona Association for Economic Development’s Economic Developer of the Year in 2011. He is on the board of directors of the East Valley Jewish Community Center.

He holds a master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religious studies from the University of Arizona.

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