Leading the American City Interview Series: The Mayor as an Institution

“The Mayor as an Institution” | An Interview Series by Boston University

Video 1 (of 5)

The opening video of the series, in which mayors reflect on the institutional status of their office, the ability to shape their cities through soft power, and the oftentimes grueling pace of the job.

“You have a platform. And that platform is more powerful than anything because people are listening to you. People are looking to you for leadership.”

– Lisa Wong, Mayor of Fitchburg, MA, 2007-2015

Leading the American City: An Interview Series by Boston University
Leading the American City is a five-part video history of American mayoral leadership, governance, and power. The series features personal interviews with eight transformative mayors, who reflect on their time in office and offer insight into the job of mayor. The featured mayors include:

  • Karl Dean, Mayor of Nashville, TN, 2007-2015
  • Manny Diaz, Mayor of Miami, FL, 2001-2009
  • Shirley Franklin, Mayor of Atlanta, GA, 2002-2010
  • Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA, 2008-2016
  • Don Plusquellic, Mayor of Akron, OH, 1987-2015
  • Scott Smith, Mayor of Mesa, AZ, 2008-2014
  • Anthony Williams, Mayor of Washington, DC, 1999-2007
  • Lisa Wong, Mayor of Fitchburg, MA, 2007-2015

This series is intended for the public, scholars, students, and both current and aspiring mayors. The videos are free to use and distribute. If you would like additional information on Leading the American City, or to collaborate, please contact ioc@bu.edu.

About the Initiative on Cities
The Boston University Initiative on Cities researches, promotes, and advances the adaptive urban leadership strategies and policies necessary to support cities as dynamic and inclusive centers of growth and positive development in the 21st century. Founded by a proven urban leader, the late Mayor of Boston 
Thomas Menino, and a highly regarded academic, Professor Graham Wilson, the Initiative serves as a bridge between academic research and the real-life practice of city governance.