By Dave Schwab
La Jolla resident Julie Dubick was named this week as Mayor Jerry Sanders’ chief of staff, succeeding Kris Michell, who has been named president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership.
“Julie has been one of my top advisors since I took office in 2005,” Sanders said in a press release. “She is a proven leader with solid policy experience and community involvement who knows the ins and outs of City Hall. I am pleased to have Julie leading our team.”
Dubick previously served as the mayor’s deputy chief of staff and policy director. In that capacity, she shepherded several high-profile projects and initiatives, including the mayor’s pension reform efforts and economic development.
In a phone interview, Dubick, discussing her new role, said: “The highest level is that you’re carrying out his (mayor’s) policies and managing his staff, covering all the areas that are important to him and trying to move them forward, and also trying to make sure he’s out in the community doing what he does best.”
Noting being the mayor’s go-to staffer will be time-consuming, Dubick said serving as an understudy to outgoing chief of staff Michell has helped prepare her and develop the skill sets she’ll need to be a successful office manager.
“My strongest suit is mentoring, and I will bring that to the table,” she said. “I have managed staffs for more than 25 years in one capacity or another.”
Like her predecessor, Dubick said as chief of staff that “I’ll try to be a consensus builder.”
Asked what’s key to managing people, Dubick replied, “Listening and inspiring, adding she strives to match staffers with their interests in an all-encompassing way. “I want them to know the full picture, not just pieces of it, so they know why they’re doing it,” she said.
Asked what she’d like to communicate most to the mayor’s constitutents, openness was Dubick’s answer. “We’re interested in their views and they should communicate them to us,” she said. “We’re doing public service. We’re happy about it.”
Dubick has a daughter currently enrolled at La Jolla High and her two oldest daughters are school alumni.
Aimee Faucett will replace Dubick as deputy chief of staff and director of policy, responsible for policy and legislative relations for the Mayor’s Office. Before joining the mayor’s office, Dubick was a partner at the law firm Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, prior to which she was assistant director of the U.S. Marshals Service and an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington.
Michell, who has been with the mayor since 2005, is expected to remain with the mayor's office until Jan. 14 and take the position with the downtown advocacy group on Feb. 14.
“Kris Michell is a dynamic leader and a respected professional,” said Scott Maloni, the board chairman of the organization. “Kris has a long history of building diverse coalitions across the region to benefit major programs and projects. Her experience will help strategically position the partnership as the leading advocate for downtown.”
Michell helped get Petco Park built as vice president of governmental relations with the San Diego Padres.
City News Service contributed to this report.