OU Alumni Board Chair named America's Mayor

Rochester Hills Mayor and OU Alumni Board Chair Bryan K. Barnett, newly installed president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, speaks to the gathering at a celebration event held in his honor on campus at Oakland University July 18, 2019.

From left, Oakland University's Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost James Lentini, Mayor Bryan K. Barnett, former Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory and Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz celebrate Barnett being elected America's Mayor at July 18 event on campus at Oakland University.

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icon of a calendarJuly 19, 2019

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OU Alumni Board chair named America’s Mayor

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett has added another hat to his growing list of civic and community responsibilities. In addition to being mayor and serving as chairperson of the Oakland University Alumni Association Board, he has now been sworn in as the 77th President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Barnett is one of only four mayors from Michigan to hold the influential leadership position since 1932.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 cities in America today.

Barnett took over as president of the organization from outgoing mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina. In addition to Barnett’s election, Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer was elected vice president and Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley was elected second vice president of the organization.

At their annual gathering in Honolulu and again at the celebration event on campus at Oakland University on July 18, Barnett delivered keynote speeches about his key priorities, which will focus on three central themes—Infrastructure, Innovation and Inclusion. His priorities mark a continuation of a bipartisan platform that has served as the core commitment of the organization.

As a 13-year city mayor, Barnett is the longest serving mayor in the history of his city. Under his leadership, Rochester Hills has been acknowledged as "One of the Top Places to Live in America." In addition, it has held the title "Safest City in Michigan" for the past three years.

As chair of the OUAA board through May 2020, Barnett works with the Alumni Association to set the agenda for alumni engagement and outreach for the organization.

Barnett graduated from Oakland University’s School of Business with a degree in Marketing. He also served as student body president and was the recipient of the university’s highest student honor, the Alfred G. Wilson Award.

Barnett was the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from OUAA in 2010 and has been a member of the OUAA Board of Directors since 2011. Under his leadership as Mayor, Oakland University and Rochester Hills have partnered on the Oakland University Incubator, the Mayor’s Business Council, and several other initiatives.

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