Mary Jacobs is a Vice President with GovHR USA, and has held leadership positions over the past 30 plus years within the local government, including 28 years at either a city manager or assistant city manager level.
Mary Jacobs’ extensive leadership experience at the state and national level with the International City/County Management Association, the Arizona City/County Management Association, and as a representative of the National League of Cities on a federal advisory committee has cemented a strong network of professionals across the U.S. and internationally. Mary’s work and passion for supporting women and young people in the profession has further contributed to her reputation as a highly respected executive among her peers.
Mary served as the Town Manager for Oro Valley, Arizona from 2017-2022, a full-service community of nearly 50,000 residents in the Tucson metropolitan area. Among other accomplishments, she led the development of the Town’s first comprehensive economic development strategy; negotiated an agreement that led to the Town’s long-desired and lucrative annexation of a second resort property; and implemented policies that ensured the Town boasted its strongest financials in two decades. In addition, Mary brought a culture of process improvement, innovation and employee engagement to the organization that contributed to more than 40 employees obtaining “Green Belt” certification in the international LEAN management framework and resulted in substantial cost savings across all departments annually. Mary also served as the Assistant City Manager for Sierra Vista, Arizona for 17 years, a similar sized community that is home to the largest military installation in the state. She introduced and oversaw a successful on-going comprehensive strategic planning process with the elected officials and senior management. Mary led the development and negotiation of several military partnerships with Fort Huachuca for the provision of municipal services on the Army fort. She also championed the development of a community-based economic development strategy and led the implementation of the Town’s first economic development division. Mary also has experience in Massachusetts where she served as Barnstable’s Assistant Town Manager for six years.
Mary is a trained facilitator, excellent communicator and is skilled at leading both government and non-profit organizations in developing short and long-term strategic plans, organizational strategies, and financial and capital plans. During Mary’s career, she has also recruited dozens of highly skilled management professionals in local government.
PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION, TRAINING & INSTRUCTION
• Master’s Degree in Public Administration, University of Arizona
• Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Arizona
• Senior Executive Program for State and Local Government, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
• Presenter, various conference and training sessions for ICMA, ACMA, Arizona League of Cities and Towns, Arizona Women Leading Government, Arizona Association of Economic Developers, Rotary Clubs and Chambers of Commerce
• Regular guest lecturer at University of Arizona MPA classes
Over 30 Years of Local Government Leadership & Management Experience
• Town Manager, Town of Oro Valley, AZ 2017-2022
• Assistant City Manager, City of Sierra Vista, AZ 2000-2017
• Assistant Town Manager, Town of Barnstable, MA 1994-2000
• Administrative Support Manager, Maricopa County Manager’s Office AZ, 1991-1993
• Management Analyst, Maricopa County Office of Organizational Development, AZ 1989-1991
MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS
• International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Current Member and Past Regional Vice President/Board Member and Chair of Board’s Membership Committee. Also served as an ICMA coach/mentor, and Member of the Government Affairs Policy Committee, Task Force on Women in the Profession and Conference Planning Committee.
• Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA), Past President and Board Member, ACMA coach/mentor
• Arizona Women Leading Government, Past Founding Board Member
• Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool (AMRRP), Past Board Member (elected by membership)
• Campus Research Corporation, Current Chair and Board Member. Non-profit arm of the Arizona Board of Regents responsible for oversight of property owned and leased for the University of Arizona (UA) Tech Parks and UA Center for Innovation
• Wildland Fire Executive Council, Member. Appointed by the U.S. Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to serve as the National League of Cities’ representative on this federal advisory committee.
• Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)