Creating and Leading a Smart City - Insights from Portland, Maine

by Student Affairs


Mon, 22 Oct 2018

12:00 PM – 1:20 PM

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HBH A301

5000 Forbes Avenue, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States




Featuring Jon Jennings, current City Manager of the City of Portland, Maine

Portland Maine is known as the Phoenix City having risen from the ashes after multiple devastating fires in the 20th century.  The resilience of the community combined with trademark New England resourcefulness have propelled Portland, the largest city in Northern New England into a leadership role in the implementation of smart city policies and practices. Join City Manager Jon Jennings who has lead the implementation of some the most advanced energy saving strategies in the country to facilitate  investments in next generation transportation infrastructure such as the INRIX highly autonomous bus platform.

Lunch provided for those that RSVP. Co-sponsored by Heinz College, the Scott Institute, and Metro21

Jon P. Jennings is the current City Manager of the City of Portland, Maine. He was appointed by the City Council on June 15, 2015 and assumed his duties on July 13, 2015. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Assistant City Manager for the city of South Portland.

During his tenure as city manager in Portland, he has focused his efforts on right-sizing municipal government so the city can concentrate on its core services. In order to allow the city to operate more cost effectively and efficiently, and provide excellent customer service, he has been exploring and implementing innovative ways to improve city services. His goal is to improve the city structurally so that it can have the resources it needs in the future to take on more aspirational projects.

In South Portland, Jennings focused on administration, economic development, and sustainability in his role as assistant city manager. In 2007, Jennings brought the idea of professional basketball to Maine. He was a partner in Maine Basketball, LLC, which owns the Maine Red Claws, until 2012.

Prior to moving to Maine, Jennings worked in the United States Senate for then-Senator John Kerry, and held several senior positions in government in Washington, DC. Jennings worked at the U.S. Department of Justice where he served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General and Principal Deputy Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs from April 1999 to June 2000. Jennings served as Senior Assistant to the Cabinet Secretary and Director of Policy Coordination at the White House from 1998-1999, and held a position as a White House Fellow in the Office of Cabinet Affairs from 1997-1998. In his work at the White House, Jennings acted as a liaison to President Clinton’s Initiative on Race, worked on Social Security reform, and served as White House liaison to numerous Cabinet agencies and the Office of the First Lady. Prior to his work in Washington, DC, he worked for the Boston Celtics in a variety of coaching and management positions for 11 years.

He has served on the board of numerous charitable organizations, including in Maine the board of Mercy Hospital, July 4 th Portland, and on the City of Portland’s Homelessness Task Force.

He attended Indiana University (Bloomington) and Harvard University, where he received his master’s in public administration.

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