Mayor R.T. Rybak has tapped Mike Christenson, the city’s economic development director, to head the city’s Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED).
The department has been led by Lee Sheehy since 2003. Sheehy is leaving the job to serve as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
In a prepared statement, Rybak said Christenson is the “right person” to take the city and neighborhoods to “the next level.”
“Mike Christenson really gets that great cities aren’t built by isolated actions in City Hall, but through strategic partnerships with the community,” he said.
Christenson, who has served as economic development director since 2003, has worked on several major projects, such as the Midtown Exchange Global Market, the West Broadway Redevelopment and the Minneapolis Life Sciences Corridor, which is anchored by Hennepin County Medical Center in Elliot Park and Abbott Northwestern Hospital in South Minneapolis.
Before taking on his current post with the city, Christenson held a variety of jobs in the public and private sector, including serving as the executive director for the Allina Health Systems Foundation, chief administrator for Metro Transit and as a partner with the law firm, Popham, Haik.
Rybak will formally submit the nomination Wednesday at the City Council’s Executive Committee meeting. The nomination would then go to the Council’s Community Development Committee for a public hearing, and then before the full Council for a vote.