Member Profile: Doug Matthews

Posted on June 27, 2019


d matthews

Doug Matthews

Assistant City Manager & CAO, City of Grand Rapids, MI

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So far, what’s your proudest accomplishment in 2019?

Making the transition from Department head to Assistant City Manager & Chief Administrative Officer, for sure. And making three 1,300-mile trips over the course of 2-1/2 months in the process!

What do you love about your job?

I love the people, their enthusiasm and their embrace of new ideas and change. I’ve adopted an extraordinary team here in Grand Rapids.

(Complete the sentence) Before I die I want to…

Give my kids the opportunity to discover the world beyond our borders in the same way that my parents did for me.

10 Year Challenge! What were you doing in 2009? How did it help you reach your current position?

Funny. I spent exactly 10 years as the Chief Communications Director in Austin before my recent move. That experience really honed my leadership skills, my negotiation skills and broadened my perspective across all areas of operations. I was lucky enough to have a City Manager that gave me a wide berth to get involved and effect change well outside of the confines of my job description.

(Complete the sentence) The first time I heard about ELGL was…

When they were still a little startup from the northwest called “Emerging Local Government Leaders.”

What question should we have asked? What’s the answer

Q: What’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

A: Depends. Is it an African or European swallow?


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