City manager, administration and policies

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City Manager profile - Steve Kanellakos

Message from the City Manager, Steve Kanellakos

Ottawa is made of an existing network of communities, businesses and organizations that together make up the fabric of our city. The City of Ottawa provides important programs, services, facilities and infrastructure to nearly a million residents every day. We invest each tax dollar with care so that we can plow your roads in a timely manner, provide safe drinking water, run animated recreation programs, inspect new homes, and deliver more than a hundred other City services.

I consider it a true honour to be the City Manager in Ottawa. I look forward to being part of the exciting future that lies ahead. We will be successful when we work together with our public, private, community and voluntary sector partners.

City Manager Biography

photo of the City Manager Steve Kanellakos
As City Manager, Steve serves as Council’s chief administrator managing an operating budget of $3.76 billion and leading the organization to deliver services across more than 100 distinct lines of business through nine departments and 17,000 employees.

Steve’s vision for the City of Ottawa is to deliver service excellence in every service offering and client interaction. He has a deeply held belief that a municipal leader’s role is to serve their employees, community, and Council. Steve embraces the philosophy of servant leadership – making your people your priority so that they are equipped and supported to take care of residents and services.

Since 2016, Steve has focused on transforming the City’s culture to embed servant leadership at all management levels, while championing the importance of working collaboratively as One City, One Team – a cross-departmental approach to leverage expertise across the organization to deliver a seamless client experience while maximizing creativity, innovation and relationship building.

Steve brings 36 years of progressive public service experience to his role as City Manager. The first 15 years of his career was dedicated to serving local and regional police services in several leadership roles before joining the newly amalgamated City of Ottawa in 2000, as the General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services. Over the last 20 years, Steve has held various leadership roles at the General Manager and Deputy City Manager levels.

In 2015, Steve was appointed as the City Manager in Vaughan, where he led Council through a transformational process to establish a strategic and financial plan during a time of unprecedented growth and change, until he returned to Ottawa to assume the role of City Manager in 2016.

Steve is proud to lead the fourth-largest municipality in Canada in the nation’s capital, with a population that has surpassed one million. Steve’s greatest career achievement has been his focus on helping other’s grow and develop in their careers. His goal is to continue to build on the City’s culture of excellence in delivering exceptional services to Ottawa’s residents, businesses and visitors across a vast geographic region that encompasses many diverse and unique communities.

Organizational Structure

The City of Ottawa's organizational structure is comprised of City Council, the City Manager Steve Kanellakos, the City Manager's Office led by Director Steve Box and the following City departments:

  • Community and Social Services – Donna Gray, General Manager
  • Emergency and Protective Services – Kim Ayotte, General Manager
  • Finance Services – Wendy Stephanson, Chief Financial Officer / Treasurer
  • Infrastructure and Water Services - Tammy Rose, General Manager
  • Innovative Client Services – Valerie Turner, General Manager
  • Office of the City Clerk – Rick O’Connor, City Clerk
  • Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development – Don Herweyer, Interim General Manager
  • Public Works – Alain Gonthier, General Manager
  • Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services – Dan Chenier, General Manager
  • Transit Services – Renée Amilcar, General Manager