Mayor James announces Chief of Staff change

September 25, 2014 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Mayor James announced today that Chief of Staff John McGurk will be taking a new position in the private sector at the end of October.  McGurk has served as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff since the beginning of the administration in May of 2011 after working with the Mayor on both his campaign and transition team.  

“It’s been an absolute honor to serve the Mayor and the City in this position,” said McGurk. “Even though this is the right time for my family and I to make a transition like this, I will miss public service and the amazing people in city government I’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the past three and a half years.  Although my time in City Hall is coming to a close, I will always be an advocate for moving our City forward and for our visionary Mayor.  He has been a true friend and mentor that I know will continue for a lifetime.”

McGurk is a lifelong Kansas City resident, graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s law school. He also received a BS from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.   

“John’s leadership, friendship, and enthusiasm has been invaluable to me and I will always be indebted to him for the time he spent working with me and our staff to make this City best,” said Mayor James. “I fully understand and support his commitment to his family at this time in his life. Although I will miss seeing John everyday, I’m grateful that we have had a great opportunity to work together for so long.”

Additionally, Mayor James also announced that he will promote Joni Wickham to Chief of Staff.  She currently serves a Director of Public Affairs and moved to Kansas City from Jefferson City immediately after Mayor James’ election.  She previously held positions at the American Federation of Teachers, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s Office, and the Missouri Department of Transportation. She holds a B.A. in political studies from Meredith College and a M.A. in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

 “I’m humbled and grateful that the Mayor has put this faith in me,” said Wickham.  “John and the Mayor have put a great team together and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with each of them to make this City I love an even better place to live, work, and play.”

Contact: Joni Wickham: 816-513-6582 or cell: 816-572-2152