Steve Hagerty '93 MPA sworn in as Mayor of Evanston, Illinois
Steve Hagerty ’93 MPA, a businessman in Evanston, Illinois, was recently elected mayor of that city, running as a first-time candidate for public office. Hagerty was sworn in at a public ceremony on Monday, May 8, 2017.
A self-described moderate, Hagerty ran on a platform that put fiscal responsibility and community first, emphasizing his deep experience in public service and helping to improve government, albeit from the private sector. Hagerty is the founder of Hagerty Consulting, one of the nation’s leading emergency management consulting firms.
On his campaign website, Haggerty explains, “I am a business owner, an entrepreneur, an advocate on important local causes, and a civic leader. Professionally, I focus on helping local governments of all kinds address major challenges – from helping New York City recover from the September 11 terrorist attacks to helping New Orleans residents rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.”
After earning his MPA in 1993 from Maxwell’s #1-ranked graduate program, Hagerty spent 24 years as a management consultant working closely with federal, state, and local agencies to implement billion dollar programs, manage stakeholder relationships, and develop innovative solutions. In his first position with Price Waterhouse's Office of Government Services in Washington, D.C., he built a multi-million dollar FEMA practice. In 2001, he left to work as an independent consultant, going on to found Hagerty Consulting. Today, the 100-person company is called upon to handle some of the most complex and politically sensitive projects. Hagerty plans to remain with the firm on a part-time basis while serving as Mayor.
Before pursuing public office, Hagerty told Maxwell students, “The world we live in desperately needs people who ground their decisions in values that make a difference, who say that community is as important as self." It is a sentiment that Hagerty puts into practice every day. In addition to his consulting firm, Hagerty has managed a very busy schedule of community service. Hagerty serves on the Maxwell Advisory Board and has served on the Board of Directors of First Bank & Trust. He has also served on the Advisory Board or as an ad-hoc advisor or donor to many other notable organizations in Evanston including the YWCA North Shore, the McGaw YMCA, Youth Job Center (YJC), the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF), Evanston Scholars, Connections for the Homeless, Mental Health Association of the North Shore, and others. Previously, he served on the Executive Committee of Evanston Inventure and as the president of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce Board.
“We couldn’t be happier or prouder of Steve and his many accomplishments,” says David M. Van Slyke, dean of the Maxwell School. “His life and career exemplify precisely what I mean when I say that ‘public service can happen anywhere.’ For Steve, public service happens in his volunteer life, it happens in his business pursuits, and now it happens in his role as mayor of Evanston.”