Tracy Samra is the first woman and Aboriginal appointed as Interim City Manager by Nanaimo City Council.
Samra, a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation, starts her new position today, Nov, 19, for a six month term.
Council will continue to seek a permanent city manager position to fill the position left by outgoing manager Ted Swabey, who left on Nov. 13 to take a position with the City of Maple Ridge.
Samra is a senior administrator, consultant and lawyer with over 19 years’ experience working in the federal, provincial and Aboriginal public sectors in the areas of governance, policy development and program/service delivery.
She has strong ties in the community and is familiar with council’s priorities and the issues of top interest to Nanaimo residents.
“I have known Tracy for a number of years,” says Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay. “She is an intelligent and committed individual. I look forward to working with her over the coming months.”
Acting Mayor Gord Fuller says, “Tracy brings to the city a wide range of executive experience, including knowledge across all levels of government. Her work at the city will provide critical support to council and leadership to staff during this interim period. Given the importance of this position, council is pleased she is able to begin immediately.”
Samra’s appointment may be renewed each month until the process filling the permanent city manager role is completed.
“I put my name forward because I believe I can provide the strong principled leadership required at this critical juncture,” says Samra.
” My first priority is to provide council with the information they need to govern effectively in an open and transparent manner. My second priority is to support staff to do their work in a positive work environment. I already know there is a depth of expertise within each departmental team that I can rely on and work with. I am hopeful that my direct and frank approach to leadership and our respective accountabilities will serve the City of Nanaimo well during this interim period. I understand how important it is that Council finds the right city manager for Nanaimo in 2016.”
Samra has a Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Victoria and holds executive training experience from the Canada School of Public Service. She currently lectures on Natural Resources Management and Indigenous Rights at Vancouver Island University.