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New Cambridge City Manager Huang Taps Acting Deputy City Manager

Cambridge City Hall is located in Central Square.
Cambridge City Hall is located in Central Square. By Julian J. Giordano
By Yusuf S. Mian, Crimson Staff Writer

Days after finishing his role as Cambridge’s acting city manager, Owen O’Riordan has a new job in City Hall — right down the hall from his last one.

Cambridge’s newly-minted city manager, Yi-An Huang ’05, tapped O’Riordan to serve as acting deputy city manager, according to an email to city staff reported by Cambridge Day. O’Riordan, the head of the city’s Department of Public Works, served as acting city manager for two months over the summer before Huang took over.

The deputy city manager position has been empty since early 2021, when officeholder Lisa Peterson retired.

“I’ve been working with Owen very closely during the transition period,” Huang said in an interview last week prior to the announcement. “I’ve been really grateful for his openness.”

Huang took over as city manager on Sept. 6 after he was selected by the City Council to replace Louis A. DePasquale.

The city is currently searching for a chief of staff and a chief of strategy implementation, according to job postings on the city’s website. According to the job postings, the salary range for both jobs is between $160,000 and $200,000.

“We were able to meet and have good conversations about transition planning, where he was helping to bring me up to speed and to give me some of that organizational context and history,” Huang said of O’Riordan.

In a message to staff, Huang said the deputy city manager will have a more expansive and clarified role, according to Cambridge Day, writing that he views O’Riordan as the “chief operating officer for the city.” Huang said the deputy city manager will be responsible for “managing major day-to-day operations” and “overseeing core infrastructure,” according to Cambridge Day.

Huang said last week the city is facing staffing shortages, comparing the problem to ones he faced as a hospital executive.

“We’re facing the same staffing shortages that every hospital or health care provider is looking at as well,” he said.

Huang praised O’Riordan’s City Hall service in the memo to staff on Friday.

“Owen has performed wonderfully as the acting city manager over the summer and for many years as the commissioner of Public Works,” he wrote, according to Cambridge Day. “I’m grateful for his experience and leadership, and I’m excited to work with him in this new role.”

—Staff writer Yusuf S. Mian can be reached at yusuf.mian@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @yusuf_mian2.

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