Lightning Round with Amanda Lamb, City of San Diego

Posted on September 17, 2012

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Amanda Lamb

Performance Auditor at City of San Diego Auditor’s Office


Favorite book of all-time:

I love classic fiction:

  • Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
  • Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

And ok, you caught me. I am a total Harry Potter nerd!

Books that are on your nightstand right now:

I usually have a couple of books going on at the same time, and right now my theme seems to be eco-fiction. I am rereading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn for about the tenth time and I just started an interesting sci-fi novel, The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin.

(Fill in the blank) When you wake up in the morning, you are motivated by………

My cat sticking her nose about two centimeters from my face until I get up to feed her?

Perhaps you wanted a more thoughtful response! I am primarily motivated by the people around me. We (those of us working in local government) all want government to improve, and even though we might have different ideas on how to do that, it is very motivating to remember that we are all working toward the same goal.

If you ran for elected office, what position would you run for?

Given the experiences I have had so far, I think I would probably run for a position like County Chair. While serving in the U.S. or state legislature or at the executive-level would be fascinating and rewarding, I think I would find myself too isolated from my constituents. I am also an administrator at heart, not a politician, so I would prefer a position that is lower profile and would allow me to focus on running an organization, not winning the next election.

Your best piece of career advice:

Your network is key. The only credit I take for my successes is that I am the one who built my network. Other than that, I know I would not be where I am if those I worked to build relationships with were not willing to stick their neck out on my behalf.

Your favorite social media outlet:

While Facebook is great for keeping in touch with family and friends, my favorite social media outlet is definitely LinkedIn. I like being able to join the groups and network with other professionals that I probably would never meet in a social setting.

Which actor/actress would play you in a movie?

Since we’re talking about a hypothetical movie about me, let’s assume this is 1935.  I’d definitely go with Katharine Hepburn, because I love her independence and confidence in herself, regardless of what society told her she “should” be.

What is the home page on your web browser?

Google News. I just had to be the first to know when Snookie had her baby!

Biggest issue facing local government:

It’s no secret, governments everywhere need to figure out how to align resources with spending. That is what is getting the most press and focus right now. But I actually see two other issues as more pressing:

  • The first is the ability of government to administer programs. As an auditor, I see time and time again programs that have lost administrative positions and therefore their capacity to administer the program! They cut the administrative analyst, the contract administrator, and the database manager. And then we are shocked with the program is inefficiently, problems are not caught until it is too late, and there is no attention on improvement and innovation.
  • The second most pressing issue facing government generally is that we need to restore citizen faith in the public sector. Those of us in local government should serve as ambassadors, take pride in our work and who we work for, and help educate the general public on what we do.

Two things that people will say about you at your retirement party:

  • Isn’t this the fourth time she has retired? She’ll be back.
  • The office is sure going to be quiet.

First concert that you ever attended:




Well, I grew up in rural Montana, and I think it was Chris LeDoux (a country artist). I remember I wore a big white hat and cowgirl boots.

Name three of your mentors:

  • My mom, the strongest most resilient person I know, who is always free with advice and guidance (albeit sometimes unsolicited).
  • Jason Neiffer, my high school debate coach, who not only taught me the art of persuasion, but also helped me gain the confidence to be myself, not who others wanted me to be.

Who is at the dinner table if you could invite any three people (dead or alive)?

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Michelle Obama

(Fill in the blank) Government….

What we, as citizens, make it. So to those who don’t like what is happening right now, don’t yell or hold up signs, get involved and help fix it!

(Fill in the blank) ELGL is ……..

A great way to connect local government professionals, share experiences, and learn from one another.

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