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Ithaca Selects Inaugural City Manager


The city of Ithaca has selected its first-ever City Manager.

Following a national search, Common Council voted on November 15 in an executive session to offer the position of City Manager to Deb Mohlenhoff. This decision is dependent upon a final vote at Council’s December 6 meeting. Mohlenhoff will be the first person to hold this role since voters approved a Fall 2022 Referendum to transition to a Council-Manager form of government.

Mohlenhoff previously served as Associate Vice President for Community Relations/Chief of Staff at Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) from 2020-2022. In that position, she directed and implemented marketing and communications strategies, supervised staff, and wrote and managed local, state, and federal grants. Mohlenhoff also held the position of Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at TC3 from 2018 to 2020 before her promotion at the college.

As Director of Leadership Tompkins and Cortland, Mohlenhoff developed and managed a leadership training program in partnership with Tompkins and Cortland Chambers of Commerce. Several local organizations have sought her facilitation of workshops on professional leadership skills and community engagement.

Mohlenhoff was elected to Ithaca’s Common Council where she served as Fifth Ward Alderperson from 2009-2021. She is currently the Chief of Staff to Mayor Laura Lewis. Her varied professional experience in higher education, community engagement, and in public office will serve Mohlenhoff well as City Manager, a position she will begin on January 1, 2024. Mohlenhoff holds a Master of Public Administration from Binghamton University and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.

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