City Manager Erik Walsh officially named Colleen Bridger assistant city manager Tuesday after serving as interim for more than four months.
“Colleen has a track record of leading key issues to the finish line,” Walsh said in a statement, noting that she spearheaded the City’s Tobacco 21 ordinance that went on to become the model for a statewide law increasing the purchase age for tobacco to 21 starting Sept. 1. “Most recently, her management of the migrant resource center has been nationally lauded and the center has become a model for how to efficiently provide a humanitarian response to the influx of asylum seekers.”
Bridger will continue to oversee the Metropolitan Health Department, Office of Equity, Department of Human Services and the Parks and Recreation Department. Before coming to San Antonio, she was director of three health departments in North Carolina. She has a Ph.D. from UNC-Charlotte and a master’s in public health from UNC-Chapel Hill.
She served as director of Metro Health for two years until she was promoted by Walsh to step into the position left vacant when he promoted María Villagómez as his deputy. Walsh, who served as deputy to then-City Manager Sheryl Sculley, was appointed to the top spot in March.
Jennifer Herriott, then an assistant director, took over Metro Health after Bridger’s promotion. At the time, Herriott said she did not see herself as a permanent replacement. The City will soon launch a national search.
Homer Garcia, assistant director of Parks and Recreation, was also promoted by Walsh to interim director of the department. Longtime parks director Xavier Urrutia left that position this month to become chief of staff for Mike Flores, chancellor of the Alamo Colleges District.
Garcia previously worked in the City’s Animal Care Services and Human Services departments. He has a Master of Business Administration degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and bachelor’s in business administration from Texas State University.
Starting July 26, Deputy Director Alex Lopez will serve as interim director of the Economic Development Department after Rene Dominguez left to become president and CEO of the Texas Research & Technology Foundation. Lopez was the City’s interim chief equity officer until she joined the Economic Development Department.