City of Santa Cruz logoAssistant City Manager Laura Schmidt has announced her resignation from the City of Santa Cruz effective August 2, to pursue a consulting career opportunity in the private sector. Ms. Schmidt has been an integral part of the City’s leadership team since 2014, leaving behind a legacy of strategic planning, program development and dedicated service.

Schmidt began her journey with the City of Santa Cruz in 2014 as the director of Information Technology, where she spearheaded innovative technology initiatives to enhance City services and efficiency. Her leadership and vision led to a strategic approach for changes to the City’s infrastructure and applications and laid the foundation for stability and future growth.

Schmidt’s career spans across both public and private sectors, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to her roles. Prior to joining the City of Santa Cruz, she served as the chief information management officer for Washoe County in Nevada. She also held senior positions in information technology and program management for several prominent private sector firms, including Hewlett-Packard, PeopleSoft, Palm and Accenture. Her diverse background equipped her with a unique perspective and a deep understanding of organizational dynamics, enabling her to drive impactful change and foster collaboration across different stakeholders.

In 2019, Schmidt transitioned to the role of assistant city manager, where she oversaw several key administrative departments, including the City Manager’s Office, Clerk’s Office, IT, Finance and Human Resources. She has led various Citywide programs, facilitating ad hoc council committees, managing council onboarding, guiding ballot measures and contributing to strategic planning initiatives.

Among her notable achievements, Ms. Schmidt played a pivotal role in crafting the City’s first 3-year homelessness response plan, guiding the development of the latest City 5-year strategic plan and providing leadership for the City’s West Cliff work, culminating in the recent adoption of the West Cliff 50-year Community Vision, the first of its kind in coastal resiliency planning.

“Laura’s dedication, strategic leadership and unwavering commitment to the City of Santa Cruz have been invaluable,” said City Manager Matt Huffaker. “Her ability to navigate complex issues with grace and humor has left a mark on our community and our Citywide team and she will be greatly missed. We are grateful for her contributions and wish her the very best in her future endeavors. Her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us for years to come.”

Laura Schmidt’s last day with the City of Santa Cruz will be on August 2. The City will begin the process of selecting a successor to ensure a smooth transition and continued progress.