John A. Russo has been Riverside’s City Manager since May 4, 2015, leading a municipal workforce of more than 2,400 employees. He was appointed in mid-February by the Riverside City Council, which cited Russo’s legislative and executive management experience as well as his commitment to fiscal responsibility, responsiveness and transparency.
Russo previously spent nearly four years as City Manager of Alameda and before that served as the City Attorney of Oakland for 11 years. Prior to being elected City Attorney in Oakland, Russo was a City Council member there for nearly six years. His 27 years in California’s legal and government communities give him an extensive professional network in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Russo’s executive leadership team includes Assistant City Managers Alex Nguyen, Al Zelinka and Deanna Lorson.
Russo graduated cum laude from Yale University and earned his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law. He worked two years at a legal aid office in St. Louis, Missouri before moving to Oakland in 1987, where he worked as a private attorney until 2000.
Russo served on the Oakland City Council from 1995-2000, where he authored Oakland’s open government law, known as the Sunshine Ordinance. Russo served as Oakland City Attorney from 2000-2011. In both capacities, he worked with current Gov. Jerry Brown, who was Mayor of Oakland from 1999-2007.