Mayor Justin Bibb has named a close aide as his chief of staff in an end-of-year reshuffling at the top of Cleveland City Hall.
Chief Strategy Officer Bradford Davy will become chief of staff in early January. Ryan Puente, the chief of government affairs, will serve as deputy chief of staff.
“Over the last year, Chief Davy has led the charge on our first 100-day agenda and managed a number of my administration’s long-term priorities, including overseeing the Center for Economic Recovery’s strategic investments of ARPA funding, driving master planning efforts for Cleveland’s lakefront and Highland Golf Course, and supporting ongoing efforts to address the lead crisis,” Bibb said in a news release announcing the move. “He is collaborative, decisive, and the right person to help me lead the team moving forward.”
Previously, Bibb didn’t have a chief of staff to serve as his top gatekeeper and liaison to the rest of City Hall. Davy shared those responsibilities this year with Chief Administrative Officer Elise Hara Auvil, who will be leaving the Bibb team.
The naming of a chief of staff is meant to streamline communication and decision-making in the mayor’s office, according to the news release.
“We have grown immensely as a team in our first year,” Davy said in the release. “We’ve done great things together and made changes after every bump along the way. In that spirit, Mayor Bibb is always looking for new and better ways to serve Cleveland residents. I am honored by the faith placed in me by the Mayor and humbled by the opportunity to serve the community I call home.”
Davy previously worked at the nonprofit Fund for Our Economic Future. He chaired Bibb’s 2021 mayoral campaign and helped lead the transition a year ago. Puente, a former executive director of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, managed Bibb’s campaign.
Auvil, who served on a transition advisory committee, brought more than a decade of government experience to the Bibb administration. She oversaw human resources for Cuyahoga County government under the first county executive and also worked as HR manager for the City of Westlake.
“My team is where it’s at today because we relied on Chief Auvil’s extensive government, HR, and legal experience,” the mayor said in his news release. “Building teams from scratch, restructuring complex processes, hammering down on operational efficiencies—Elise’s skillset was critical to laying a strong foundation in our first year. My team and I are better prepared to lead Cleveland as a result of Chief Auvil’s work.”
Bibb is finishing up his first year as Cleveland’s mayor after winning the 2021 election. His team led the first government transition at City Hall since 2005, ushering in new leadership at the top of the city with the retirement of Mayor Frank Jackson.