Andeson Kelliher sworn-in as City Operations Officer for Minneapolis

Minneapolis officially has a City Operations Officer.

On Wednesday morning at the Public Service Building, Margaret Anderson Kelliher was sworn into the position, the first person to hold the title.

In the role, Anderson Kelliher will oversee 17 separate departments under the umbrella of the Office of Public Service, including the Civil Rights, Public Works, and Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging departments.

The office’s core functions relate to internal services, communications and engagement services, and development, health and livability services, and oversees departments ranging from the 311 Service Center to human resources, IT, public works, civil rights and community relations.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Anderson Kelliher was approved by the Minneapolis City Council just last month after having been nominated for the position by Mayor Jacob Frey the month prior.

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At Wednesday’s event, Anderson Kelliher noted she has lived in the city for 34 years, adding she’s excited to work with a great team of leaders.

Anderson Kelliher takes over for interim City Operations Officer Heather Johnston as one of four appointed positions that report directly to the mayor under the city’s new government structure finalized in 2022. The others are the community safety commissioner, the city attorney and the mayor’s chief of staff.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Frey spoke, noting the importance of the newly created role.

“I think council members and everyone alike are recognizing this historic moment for our city,” said Frey, who continued on, saying “This marks not just the city operations officer starting point for Margaret Anderson Kelliher – an incredible leader in our city and our state – it also marks the very first time in our city’s history that we will have our entire cabinet in this new government structure 100 years in the making fully built out. Yes, this is a very big deal, and I think we all recognize the magnitude of this particular moment.”

“We are one year into this new government structure. It’s important that we are one year into this government structure. We know what we’ve accomplished already. We also know where we have to reset some relationships going forward. And we are doing that, we are actively doing that every single day,” said Anderson Kelliher after she was officially sworn in.

Before the City Council confirmed Anderson Kelliher as Public Works director in early 2022, she served in Gov. Tim Walz’s cabinet as Minnesota’s transportation commissioner. She was also a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for 12 years and held the gavel as House speaker from 2007-11.