Mayor Jacob Frey plans to nominate Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde for Minneapolis city coordinator, one of the top staff positions in the city.
Frey praised Rivera-Vandermyde, who currently holds the role of deputy and acting coordinator, as strategic and collaborative. The mayor credited her with helping implement the city's recent safe-and-sick time and minimum wage ordinances.
"She shares my results-oriented approach and she does not shy away from difficult controversial issues," he said Wednesday.
Rivera-Vandermyde will replace Spencer Cronk, who recently left Minneapolis for a city manager job in Austin, Texas.
A self-described "data geek," Rivera-Vandermyde came to the city in 2013 to head up the city's regulatory services. She took the position following the resignation of Gregory Stubbs, who left after nine months on the job amid accusations of discrimination against women in the office. In the aftermath, Rivera-Vandermyde faced the difficult task of bringing order to the department and transforming it into a more transparent and community-engaged division of the city.
"I'm proud to know that right now it is stable and continuing to move in that direction," she said.
In 2015, she moved over to the second-in-command spot in the coordinator's office under Cronk.
If confirmed, Rivera-Vandermyde said she plans to continue working on making the work of Minneapolis government more transparent to its citizens, challenging department spending and working with new council members and Frey on affordable housing, police-community relations and city poverty.
"All of those to me are about how do we impact positively the lives of our residents?" said Rivera-Vandermyde. "It's not about paper pushing, it's not about bureaucracy, it's not about figuring out how to make government more complicated. It's actually about opening up the windows and saying, how do we make government more transparent and how do we do good in the process?"
Before Minneapolis, Rivera-Vandermyde worked as an attorney for the Department of Justice in her native Puerto Rico, and as an administrator for the territory's Department of Corrections. An alumna of New York University School of Law, she also worked as a private attorney in Boston. She came to Minnesota in 2006, where she helped found Indigo Enterprises, a Fridley-based consulting firm that specializes in judicial and regulatory compliance.
Frey will nominate Rivera-Vandermyde at an executive committee meeting. Rivera-Vandermyde said she hopes the City Council will share the mayor's vision for the office.
"I don't seek this kind of thing out," she said of the nomination. "I hope that the work speaks for itself."