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Nationally recognized municipal executive leads Metro General Services

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Gerald C. Smith, Sr., the new director of General Services for Metro Nashville, says Nashville’s “modern, progressive, and transformational leadership” drew him to Metro. Smith is completing his third week on the job, drawing on his remarkable life story as he leads the department that helps all other Metro departments and agencies achieve their missions.

Based on Smith’s experience working in several high-performance-based organizations, his approach to municipal management has been transformational, from the old paradigms of municipal management to one that embraces transparency, accountability, creativity, and the adoption of industry best practices.

“I’m drawn to communities that are open to modern, progressive, and transformational leadership,” Smith said. “Metro Nashville is that type of community, and I’m that sort of leader. I’m looking forward to leading General Services.”

Smith grew up on the streets of St. Louis, raised in an orphanage by Catholic nuns before finding a path that led to college. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban History and Political Science from Elmhurst College and a Master of Public Administration degree in Urban Management from Northern Illinois University.

Smith has worked in public administration for over 30 years, serving as city manager, department director, assistant city manager, and municipal management consultant for communities ranging from 5,000 to 460,000 in population. He has previously served as the founding director for the Department of General Services in Kansas City, Missouri, leading his department to numerous awards and recognitions due to his progressive management and leadership style.

Smith brings expertise in broad municipal management areas, including capital infrastructure planning, organizational development/ re-development, the promotion of green initiatives and sustainability, building collaborative partnerships, and navigating change.

He is a member of the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) and is an ICMA Credentialed Manager (ICMA-CM) through his professional association. Smith is also a National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) member and mentors current and future municipal leaders interested in executive municipal service.

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