Saturday, May 18, 2024
City Manager Robert W. Healy has reported that the city has a record high amount in its free cash fund for the second year in a row. (Photo: Rachel Offerdahl)

City Manager Robert W. Healy retires June 30. (Photo: Rachel Offerdahl)

His last day as city manager is June 30, but Robert W. Healy isn’t exactly diving headfirst into retirement. He starts a fellowship at Harvard on July 30, the university’s Kennedy School announced Friday.

The fellowship will allow Healy to work with faculty, scholars and students on a range of academic and research projects and to participate in seminars, workshops and public events. Healy will also teach at the Kennedy School as an adjunct lecturer, said the school’s Doug Gavel in a press release.

Healy’s role will be as a Taubman Fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. The Taubman Center’s mission is to improve governing of states, metropolitan areas and cities through research, teaching and public events.

“Local government leaders are dealing with myriad challenges, particularly during these times of budget belt tightening and economic stagnation,” said Edward Glaeser, director of the Taubman Center and the Rappaport Institute. “Bob Healy has met and tackled these difficult challenges for decades.”

Since 1999 Cambridge has been one of only a few dozen cities in the country to earn and maintain three Triple A bond ratings from the three major credit rating agencies, even while accomplishing major capital projects such as the $26 million renovation of the War Memorial Recreation Center, $90 million Main Library and $112 million high school.

“We are pleased that Bob Healy has chosen to join us at the Kennedy School,” said the school’s dean, David T. Ellwood. “Bob brings knowledge and expertise in so many facets of local governance – from budgeting and housing to education and health care – and we look forward to both learning from and engaging with him.”

Healy called it a “great honor” to become part of the school. “I am excited to share my many years of practical experience in the creative environment offered at HKS, to inspire and engage our next generation of leaders by fostering the courage, perseverance and dauntlessness necessary to meet the everyday challenges of local governance,” he said in the press release.

Healy served as Cambridge city manager for 32 years. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, the city where he lives. He has earned certificates from the Urban Executive Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management and from the State and Local Executive Program at the Kennedy School itself.

The school has roots in the Great Depression. It was founded in 1936 as the Graduate School of Public Administration with a $2 million gift – $34 million in today’s dollars – and was renamed in 1966 after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Graduates of its programs include everyone from Katherine Harris to Jimmy Tingle.

“Bob Healy is an extraordinary public servant who has devoted more than four decades of his life to his hometown. As city manager, he created and maintained a mutually beneficial partnership between Harvard and Cambridge, bringing people together to identify and support common interests and opportunities. The result is a stronger community for all and a remarkable wealth of insight and expertise that Bob will share with future leaders studying at the Kennedy School of Government,” said Drew Faust, president of the university.

Healy’s replacement in leading Cambridge as of July 1 is Richard C. Rossi, the city’s longtime deputy city manager.

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.