Dr. Qiong X. Liu
City of North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas, NV 89030
Dr. Liu joined the North Las Vegas executive team in May 2005 as Deputy Public Works Director/City Engineer after serving the City of Las Vegas as the Transportation Planning Manager for five and a half years. She was appointed as the interim Public Works Director in August 2006 and later served as the Public Works Director/City Engineer for eight years. She was appointed as the Deputy City Manager in October 2013 and as the City Manager in November 2014 when the City was under the threat of being taken over by the State due to the severe financial conditions associated with the long lasting impact of the “great recession” on the local economy. To meet the unprecedented financial and organizational challenges, Dr. Liu quickly identified the areas of deficiency and developed a comprehensive plan to address both the financial crisis at hand and the long-term sustainability of the City through many extremely challenging yet necessary organizational and operational changes. With the support of the City Council as well as collaboration and partnership with department directors and labor groups, she was able to successfully implement these changes and lead the organization to achieve many crucial milestones, including the implementation of a large-scale reorganization plan and numerous operational changes to optimize resource allocation and streamline processes in various critical areas/departments. Through these efforts, an exceptionally talented and cohesive executive team was built, and also transformed the City into the most progressive and cost-effective organization in the state. She also led the effort to consolidate functions and resources and eliminated duplicated functions and service contracts based on thorough cost-benefit analyses, which have resulted in multi-million dollar immediate and reoccurring savings. Today, the City of North Las Vegas is being praised by its customers for its business-friendly culture and exceptional customer service as well as its creative approach to problem-solving at all levels of the City government.
In addition to on-going process improvement and cost containment efforts, Dr. Liu has also led her team to develop long-term strategies and implement action plans to support the City Council’s vision and keep the City’s revenues in pace with its operational expenditures by attracting new businesses and land development interests to the City. She was instrumental in the implementations of numerous ordinances or amendments to strengthen the City’s essential services and revenue streams in many areas such as development services, business license, graffiti abatement, fire prevention, and traffic control - to name a few. She has also been leading a very aggressive effort to recruit and support major development projects and game-changing sectors, such as Faraday Future, an emerging electrical car manufacture company, which will not only result in tremendous short- and long-term benefits to the City and its residents, but also change the future economy of Southern Nevada as well as the entire state. With a talented and tenacious leadership team, a resilient workforce and a progressive organizational culture, the City has not only miraculously survived the financial crisis and balanced its FY 14-15 budget without any layoffs nor reductions in employee benefit or municipal services for the first time in 7 years, but also achieved some remarkable financial results that caught the attention of other government entities, as well as business development and the financial community. Through the strategic and persistent efforts of Dr. Liu and her team, the City’s 7-year forecasted budget deficit has been reduced from $152 million in FY 2013-14 to $74.4 million in FY 2014-15 and to $23 million in FY 2015-16 while maintaining the same or slightly increased staffing and service levels.
Dr. Liu oversees the day-to-day operations and the overall budget of a dynamic organization that provides full municipal services, including police, fire, public works, water, sewer, library, parks and recreation, economic development, neighborhood and court services to about 240,000 residents throughout the more than 102-square-mile jurisdiction boundary. The city government has over 1,400 full-time employees and a budget of $516 million for FY 2016-17. Dr. Liu served as the chief negotiator and successfully negotiated new collective bargaining agreements with the three major unions for the first time in 8 years and won a binding arbitration with the Police Supervisor’s union in 2016. Dr. Liu also serves as the executive director of the North Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency, charged with the economic revitalization of the two redevelopment districts in the mature neighborhoods of the City. Her leadership and organizational skills enable the City to build its Economic Development team to implement the City Council's priority and commitment to both development and redevelopment efforts throughout the City.
Dr. Liu has served the North Las Vegas community during its booming years when the City was named the fastest growing large city in America for several consecutive years as well as challenging times when the City was facing tremendous financial challenges due to the unprecedented economic downturn. While serving as the Public Works Director/City Engineer, she successfully implemented many organizational and operational improvements to meet the peak development demands, and in subsequent years led her team to deliver the essential services with streamlined processes and improved efficiencies when the department had to cut more than 70% of its staffing and operating budget. Under her directorship, the department also delivered record high capital improvement projects totaling $1.2 billion while its staffing was at the lowest level in history.
Dr. Liu has a strong educational background and more than 30 years of diverse professional experience, including railway engineering, operations research, transportation economics, roadway design, traffic operations, transportation planning, land development, transportation system management, public works, and municipal administration. Registered as a professional civil engineer and professional traffic operations engineer, Dr. Liu’s professional experience includes 8 years of engineering consulting and 24 years of public service at federal, state, and local levels. She also has four years of part-time teaching experience at the University of Arizona while pursuing her doctoral degree in the early 90’s. Additionally, she has published 18 papers on transportation and systems engineering related topics at both national and state levels. Dr. Liu has been recognized for her many accomplishments throughout her career, including being named as "Public Works Trend Setter" by Public Works Magazine in 2007, and as “Public Administrator of the Year” in 2014 by The American Society for Public Administration.
Born and raised in China, Dr. Liu came to the United States to pursue her doctoral degree in January 1990. She holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, a Master's degree in transportation economics, and a Ph.D. degree in civil/systems engineering. She is a long-time member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), American Public Works Association (APWA), and International City Manager Association (ICMA). Since her relocation to the Las Vegas Valley in 1999, Dr. Liu has served the Las Vegas community as an active member of numerous committees and working groups, including the Executive Advisory Committee to the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), Technical Advisory Committee to the Clark County Regional Flood Control District, and RTC’s Travel Demand Modeling and Forecasting Subcommittee, etc.