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Katie Koester To Serve as Next City and Borough of Juneau Manager

August 2, 2023 – News

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Katie Koester as Juneau’s next City Manager. Koester, who currently serves as the CBJ Director of Engineering and Public Works, will assume the role in September alongside outgoing City Manager Rorie Watt.

“It is a tremendous honor to be chosen to serve as Juneau’s next City Manager,” said Koester. “CBJ has dedicated and professional staff, committed leadership on the Assembly and an engaged citizenry all working together for the good of our community.”

“We feel so fortunate to be able to hire someone who has already served as an Alaskan municipal manager, leads a major department in our city, and regularly demonstrates her passion for Juneau,” said Assembly member and City Manager Recruitment Committee Chair Christine Woll. “I feel confident that our municipal government will be in excellent hands.”

Koester joined CBJ in 2020, leading one of the city’s largest departments in the management of Juneau’s streets, public transit system, water and wastewater utility, maintenance, and construction. Prior to joining CBJ, Koester served as the City Manager of Homer, Alaska for five years, where she developed and executed the city budget, oversaw capital improvement planning, and directed operation of all city departments.

Koester holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast along with a Master of Political Science from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Smith College. She currently serves on the board of the Southeast Conference Regional Economic Development Association and the Glacier Valley Rotary Club. She is a past president of the Alaska Municipal Management Association.

Watt announced his intent to retire at an Assembly meeting on April 17. The CBJ Assembly immediately convened a special committee to begin the search and recruitment process. The committee met six times over the next three months to establish hiring criteria, determine recruitment strategies, review applications, and interview candidates.

Following a 30-day application period which drew prospective candidates from across Alaska and the US, the committee began reviewing applications on June 27. The committee conducted video interviews with each candidate that met the hiring criteria, after which the full Assembly selected who to invite to interviews with the full body and senior leadership on site. The Assembly held a final selection vote on August 2.