Portland City Manager Jon Jennings has picked a lawyer with a background in public policy and politics to be the new assistant city manager.

Anne McGuire, currently senior adviser to a New York political fundraising firm, has worked in the White House for the Clinton administration and as an aide to the U.S. Senate minority leader, the House minority whip and a representative in Congress.

Jennings said in a written announcement Friday that McGuire’s professional background involved “handling tasks very similar to the work that she will be assisting me with here in Portland.” The city manager said McGuire is “an effective communicator, critical thinker and problem solver and is skilled at interdepartmental matters.”

McGuire, who will earn $140,980 a year, will start on Aug. 30.

McGuire and Jennings have also known each other since the 1990s, when McGuire was a special presidential assistant for cabinet affairs under President Bill Clinton and Jennings was a White House fellow.

McGuire, who now works for a political fundraising firm, moved to Maine from New York a few years ago and lives on Chebeague Island. She said she has been working remotely for the firm while living in Maine.

McGuire is a graduate of Fordham University and earned her law degree at Georgetown University.

Her first job out of college was as legislative aide for Rep. Phil Sharp, a Democratic representative from Indiana. After five years in the White House, she worked for a Washington law firm and then was senior counsel for the Democratic leadership in the Senate, advising on policy and communications. She has also worked for investment firms and in 2016 was a counsel to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Since January 2017, she has been a senior adviser to Berger Hirschberg Strategies, a New York political fundraising firm.

Despite her deep background in politics, McGuire discounts that experience in her new job.

“I see this role as a little less politics and more the functioning of government,” she said.

Jennings began looking for a new assistant manager this spring, after Heather Brown stepped down for health reasons. He was on vacation and couldn’t be reached for an interview Friday, city officials said.

Jennings, meanwhile, is one of four finalists for the city manager’s job in Clearwater, Florida. The four candidates are due to be interviewed by Clearwater’s city council on Sept. 1 and 2 and the city’s schedule calls for the council to make its selection after the interviews on Sept. 2.

Jennings had already announced he intended to step down from the Portland job in July 2022.

The Portland’s City Council has scheduled an Aug. 30 workshop to discuss how it plans to fill the top position when Jennings leaves. If Jennings is selected for the Clearwater post, he will likely give 90 days notice to the city, forcing councilors to select an interim manager to oversee daily operations, according to Mayor Kate Snyder.


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