Ed Zuercher (MPA 1994)
2021 KUCIMAT Lifetime Achievement Award Co-Winner
About Ed —
In October of 2021, Ed Zuercher (MPA 1994) retired from 28 years of service to the City of Phoenix, AZ. He was nominated by 3 of his classmates, all who are active on our alumni board. As part of their nomination they wrote, "through his leadership, the Phoenix team has focused on the key principles of exceptional customer service, integrity and transparency, respect for diversity, personal empowerment, engaged teamwork, consistent professionalism, and creativity and innovation for excellent results. Ed and the Phoenix team has delivered positive results for the community as the City of Phoenix has been recognized by Governing Magazine and Living Cities as a top city for innovation and high-performance governance."
Nomination of Ed Zuercher —
It is our pleasure as classmates and colleagues to nominate Ed Zuercher for the KUCIMAT Achievement award. This October, Ed Zuercher will close-out a remarkable career with the City of Phoenix. While there will be many opportunities ahead for Mr. Zuercher and he is nowhere near "retirement," it seems appropriate at this point in his career to recognize 28 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Phoenix, AZ.
After completing his on-campus coursework at the University of Kansas, Ed started as a Management Intern with the City of Phoenix in 1993. Ed's talent and dedication to public service quickly saw him gain a wide range of opportunities with the City including Assistant to the City Manager, Public Transit Direct, Deputy City Manager, Mayor's Chief of Staff, and Assistant City Manager. In 2013, Ed was appointed by the Phoenix City Council as City Manager.
For the past eight years, Ed has guided the daily operations of America's fifth largest city with an estimated population of 1.7 million people and a footprint of over 517 square miles. Phoenix also has the distinction of being the fastest growing of America's 10 largest cities and the largest US city with a council-manager form of government.
Throughout his career of service with Phoenix, Ed has led a team of 14,500 employees with heart and with a commitment to excellence. Through his leadership, the Phoenix team has focused on the key principles of exceptional customer service, integrity and transparency, respect for diversity, personal empowerment, engaged teamwork, consistent professionalism, and creativity and innovation for excellent results.
Ed and the Phoenix team has delivered positive results for the community as the City of Phoenix has been recognized by Governing Magazine and Living Cities as a top city for innovation and high-performance governance. Since 2014, the City of Phoenix through Ed's direction has provided elected leaders and the community with a user-friendly dashboard featuring 27 performance indicators to share realtime data tracking City performance. Through Ed's time as City Manager, Phoenix has strengthened its financial position turning multi-million-dollar deficits into an operating surplus. Together, he and the City of Phoenix team has positioned the community to face the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Despite the demands of operating a city with a $3.4 billion budget, Ed has found time to serve beyond his city responsibilities. He serves on the boards of directors for Downtown Phoenix, Inc., Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and the Valley of the Sun United Way. Ed has also stayed connected to the University of Kansas MPA program by sharing his insights gained through a life dedicated to public service with recent KU Management Fellow classes and with KU faculty.
Throughout it all, Ed and his team has consistently delivering positive results for the community without seeking to draw attention or acclaim to himself. We are honored to present a great public servant, Ed Zuercher, for recognition by the KUCIMAT organization.