Kent Kirkpatrick

Opening Keynote Speaker

In March 2004, Kent Kirkpatrick became Ottawa’s City Manager. His career in municipal government has spanned 23 years with the Town of Carleton Place, the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton and the amalgamated City of Ottawa.

As City Manager, Kent serves as City Council’s chief policy advisor and leads the City’s workforce in implementing Council decisions. While overseeing policy development and major projects, Kent works to ensure that the organization is accessible and responsive to citizens, and actively promotes the City’s interests, as defined by Council, with other levels of government and external organizations. In addition, he is leading new initiatives to advance certain key priorities, which include the implementation of City Council’s long-term vision for Ottawa; building strong relationships with the community; improving corporate planning and performance reporting; and improving staff morale and commitment.

Kent began his career in local government in 1983, when he was hired by the Town of Carleton Place to be Manager of Environmental Services. Two years later, Kent began a new job as Business Administrator for the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital.

In 1988 Kent brought what he learned in Carleton Place, and a growing commitment to local public service, to the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton. Over the next 12 years Kent held four different positions with the Region: Manager of Financial Services in the Environmental Services Department; Director of Finance and Administration in the Health Department; Director of Financial Services and Deputy Treasurer in the Finance Department; and finally, in 2000, Acting Finance Commissioner and Treasurer. During those years Kent got to know, and to learn from, people at every level and in every part of municipal government. He also took the opportunity to build strong relationships with colleagues in each of Ottawa’s former municipalities.

When the new City of Ottawa was created in 2001, Kent was appointed General Manager of Corporate Services. In that position he served as a key member of the Senior Management Team during the first three years of the new City’s history. He directed the successful amalgamation of the corporate support services of twelve former municipal governments into an integrated shared service model department of 2,400 staff, leading to an overall reduction in these budgets of $24 million. He also led the successful implementation of the SAP integrated business system, a project that has been recognized as a best practice example of corporate sponsorship and change management.

Throughout his career, Kent has been an active member of the communities he lives and works in. From 1988 to 2000 he served four consecutive terms as an elected member of the Council of the Town of Carleton Place. Here in Ottawa, Kent serves on the Multiple Sclerosis Society Board of Directors and the Board of Directors for the United Way/Centraide. He has also taken a leading, professional role in initiatives outside City Hall, most notably as a member of the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board and as a resource to the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.