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MPA alumna Neukirch to be next Highland Park city manager

June 11, 2014
Ghida Neukirch

Ghida Neukirch

The City of Highland Park says Northern Illinois University alumna Ghida Neukirch will assume the role of city manager in Highland Park in November, following the announcement of current city manager David Knapp’s decision to retire at a June 9 city council meeting.

According to a press release, “The city council will appoint Deputy City Manager Ghida Neukirch to city manager following David’s retirement set for November 3, 2014. Ghida began working with the city in August 2012 and will work closely with David to assure a smooth transition over the next five months.”

Neukirch has 21 years of municipal management experience, including 13 years with the Village of Buffalo Grove and six years with the Village of Niles. She holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from NIU, is a credentialed manager through the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and she served as president of the Illinois City/County Management Association.

“She is highly respected by the council, her peers and colleagues,” Mayor Nancy Rotering said in the release. “Her commitment to our city is contagious. Her energy, responsiveness and experience will serve the city well.”

According to the news release, the Highland Park City Council will take action on the appointment of Ghida Neukirch as city manager at its regularly scheduled Council meeting on July 14, 2014, with an effective date of November 3, 2014. She will work closely with Knapp on the transition until then.

“It has been an honor working with the city council and staff, and I look forward to serving the city in this new capacity as manager,” Neukirch stated. “We have set in place a transition plan that will assure all operations and management of the city will transition smoothly.”

MPA 50th anniversary logo: Celebrating the Legacy ... Inspiring a New GenerationThe nationally-rated NIU MPA program recently celebrated its 50th year with several events, including a 50th anniversary gala dinner in April. The program has had a long history of success, playing a major role in efforts to professionalize municipal staffs statewide and advance the national good government movement.

U.S. News and World Report currently ranks NIU’s MPA program fifth in the nation in the specialty field of city management and urban policy and 12th in the field of public finance and budgeting.

The NIU MPA program produces about one-third of all Illinois municipal managers (view related interactive map), as well as administrative leaders in non-profits, park districts and police, fire, public works and economic development departments across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.