The City of Edmonton's new city manager begins work today. Andre Corbould was hired for the role last fall after an "extensive national search."
Corbould was serving as Alberta’s deputy minister of education prior to this role, and had a nearly 30-year military career with service in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.
"I’ve had the privilege of serving in the public service for more than three decades — first with the Canadian military, then the province of Alberta. I look forward to bringing that experience and perspective to my new role," he said in a news release from the city.
His tenure follows interim city manager Adam Laughlin, who took up the reins when Linda Cochrane retired in December 2019. Cochrane, who was Edmonton's first female city manager, stepped into the role in an acting capacity in September 2015 after former city manager Simon Farbrother was fired. She officially took over the job in March 2016.
Incoming city manager and retired brigadier-general Andre Corbould was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division) in 2014.
In an end-of-year interview with Taproot Edmonton, Mayor Don Iveson said Corbould's most important job will be getting to know the organization and the people within it.
"He'll really have to focus on the people that drive the success of the city and leading them compassionately through some very difficult changes that are going to result from the pandemic," Iveson said.
Some of those changes were felt last week, as the city began implementing 2021 budget-related layoffs. It expects to cut more than 300 positions this year, with 60 of those happening in January. That leaves Corbould with a smaller workforce, and potentially a worsening city work culture - something he'll have to tackle from the beginning.
But Iveson is confident the new city manager is up for the job.
"Sometimes it is good to bring in some external perspective on some of your issues, to get a fresh take on where you can do things better."