About the City Manager
About Cynthia W. Curry
Cynthia Williams Curry has always valued education, achievement and equity. Her father served as pastor of Hall Chapel Methodist Church in Rochelle and was principal of the segregated East Palatka Elementary School. When he died in 1961, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and on the cusp of public school integration in Putnam County, he left a family determined to make progress on the right side of history. In 1965, ten-year-old Cynthia did just that—walking through the doors of Browning Pearce Elementary School as one of the first Black students permitted to enter a previously white classroom. “From then on, it was a yearning in me to want to be the best, because I felt it was what I had to prove not only to fellow students but also to teachers,” Curry has said.
Curry holds a Master of Arts in Politics and Public Affairs from the University of Miami and spent many years in Miami-Dade County. Beginning as a management trainee, she quickly transitioned to the Office of Management and Budget, eventually rising to the position of assistant county manager. Responsible for thousands of employees and tens of millions of dollars, Curry guided the county through its response to Hurricane Andrew by establishing Project C.H.A.R.T. (Coordinated Hurricane Andrew Recovery Team). This effort, in partnership with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), HUD (Housing and Urban Development), and the State of Florida, successfully led the region’s long-term emergency recovery and rebuilding program. At the end of this period, Governor Lawton Chiles tapped Curry to serve on the Florida Legislature’s Emergency Financial Oversight Board to oversee the fiscal affairs of the City of Miami.
Following this extended period in government, Curry accepted the position of Senior Vice President for the Division of Business and Finance at Florida International University, where she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Service. She has served as Chief Financial Officer for Florida Memorial University, and as Senior Diversity Officer at the Everglades Foundation. She founded and helmed her own company, directing corporate and enterprise consulting on behalf of business clients for more than a decade. She is a founding member of the South Florida Chapter of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) and a two-term National President of the organization. In addition, she has received the Marks of Excellence Public Service Award from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. This is the organization’s highest honor bestowed upon individuals for distinguished public service.
Curry joined the City of Gainesville in November 2021 as City Manager, drawing on her experience as a strategic thinker and problem solver to steer the community through post-pandemic and budgetary challenges. Of her career, Curry has said, “I have been fortunate to have had good opportunities, but have been careful to make good use of them.” As her portfolio includes proficiency in areas as varied as budget and cash management, procurement, human resources, equity and inclusion, facilities management, security, transportation and risk management—Curry is uniquely qualified to lead our diverse and engaging city.
Role of the City Manager
The City Manager is the administrative head of the City of Gainesville general government, responsible for the administration of all departments, except those city agencies under the direction of other charter officers. The City Manager's Office oversees all general government programs and services; is responsible for enforcement of all city laws, ordinances and policies; acts as purchasing agent for the city; prepares the city’s budget and performs other duties as assigned by the City Commission. These tasks are accomplished through the selection and supervision of the City Manager's executive, leadership and administrative support teams.