2023 California City Manager Survey: A Profile of the Profession

This report presents the results of a survey conducted by the Rose Institute in early 2023 collecting data on average tenure, background, and education of California’s city managers. The survey included three primary sections: demographic profile, employment profile, and city profile. Within the demographic profile, survey participants submitted answers about their age; race or ethnicity; gender; level of education; major studied in university, and whether or not the respondent is a California native. The employment profile section included questions about the current position, length of time in the position, prior experience, and total years as a city manager. The city profile section included questions about the city’s population and the most pressing issues facing the city.

Rose Institute Director Ken Miller said, “City managers act as the CEOs of nearly every city in California.  As a group, they are the most important local officials in the state.  Yet, not much research had been done on this group. This new study sheds a lot of light on the city manager profession.”

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