Dr. Qiong X. Liu, PE, PTOE
City of North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas, NV 89030
Dr. Liu joined the North Las Vegas executive team in May of 2005 as the 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 subsequently led the organization’s second largest department as the Public Works Director/City Engineer for 8 years. Dr. Liu was appointed as the Deputy City Manager in October 2013 and as the City Manager in November 2014 after serving as the Interim City Manager for 6 months, during which time the City was under the threat of being taken over by the State due to 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 objectives through many extremely challenging yet important organizational and operational changes. With the support of City Council as well as collaboration and partnership with department directors and labor groups, she was able to successfully implement these changes and led the organization in achieving many crucial milestones, including the implementation of a large scale reorganization plan as well as optimized resource allocation and streamlined processes in many areas, which has not only built an exceptionally talented and cohesive executive team, but also transformed the City into the most progressive and cost-effective organization in the State. She also led the efforts to negotiate all labor contracts with four unions, consolidate functions and eliminated duplicated services and contracts based on thorough cost-benefit analyses, which have resulted in multi-millions of dollars in 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 various levels of city government.
In addition to on-going cost containment efforts, Dr. Liu has also led her team in developing long-term strategies and implementation of action plans to support 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 implementation 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 safety, and traffic control, to name a few. She has also led an aggressive effort to build the much needed public utilities and recruit major development projects to Speedway Industrial Park with over 3 million Sq. Ft. of industrial buildings constructed so far to accommodate large-scale logistic centers such as Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Fanatics, and Honest Company, etc. Dr. Liu was also instrumental to the planning and funding of infrastructure system at Apex Industrial Park and for attracting game-changing sectors such as UNEV, Hyperloop One, Faraday Future, and several renewable energy facilities to the Park. Those efforts have not only created numerous jobs and benefits to the City and its residents, but also generated a tremendous momentum that will change the future economy of the region. 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 benefit reductions for the first time in 7 years, but also achieved some remarkable financial results that caught the attention of 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 to $0 in FY2020-21, while gradually increasing staffing and service levels to ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability.
Dr. Liu oversees the day-to-day operations and overall budget of a dynamic organization that provides full municipal services, including police, fire, public works, water, sewer, libraries, parks and recreation, economic development, neighborhood and court services to about 240,000 residents throughout the 101-square-mile jurisdictional boundary. The City government has approximately 1,400 employees and a budget of $602 million for FY 2017-18. She 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 an effective Economic Development team that has attracted numerous new businesses to mature areas with several large-scale projects that recently broke ground including the 35-acre mix use Vegas Trade Village, the 23-acre Fiesta Plaza Retail Center, and the 32-acre Maya Cinemas commercial and retail development with a 70,000 Sq. Ft. luxury movie theater in downtown.
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 leading the second largest department within the organization 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 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 recent 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, system engineering and optimization, as well as public works and city administration. Registered as a Professional Civil Engineer and Professional Traffic Operations Engineer, Dr. Liu’s post-college experience includes 8 years of engineering consulting and 26 years of public service at federal, state and local levels. She also has four years of part-time undergraduate 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/systems engineering and management 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 the Public Works Magazine in 2007, as “Public Administrator of the Year” in 2014 by the American Society for Public Administration, and AAG Community Leadership Award along with the UNLV President and business elites in 2017.
Born and raised in China, Dr. Liu relocated from Beijing 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), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and International City Managers Association (ICMA). Since her relocation to the Las Vegas Valley in 1999, Dr. Liu has served this community as an active member of numerous committees and working groups, including the Executive Advisory Committee to the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), the Technical Advisory Committee to the Clark County Regional Flood Control District, the RTC’s Travel Demand Modeling and Forecasting Subcommittee, etc.