Mayor Jackson Announces Retirement of Longtime Chief of Staff Ken Silliman

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Silliman attributes 11-year tenure and accomplishments to mayor’s leadership

CLEVELAND – Mayor Frank G. Jackson today announced the retirement of Chief of Staff Ken Silliman. The veteran public servant held the position for more than 11 years, overseeing administrative duties and negotiating high-level projects on behalf of Mayor Jackson. Silliman is credited with working with community leaders, foundations, businesses and labor to support the mayor’s vision for Cleveland’s future. View images.

“I want to thank Ken Silliman for his eleven and a half years of service as my Chief of Staff,” said Mayor Jackson. “Public service is an honorable profession that requires tireless and selfless commitment. To make a career of it, truly shows Ken’s devotion to Cleveland residents. Ken has supported my vision and as a result, we have the renovated Public Square, Historic League Park, and The Huntington Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation as well as made capital improvements that range from streetscapes to parks and everything in between. “He is a true champion for the people and there is not a corner of this city untouched by Ken’s work.  His commitment has truly helped me shape this city. I commend him for his service, loyalty, strategic vision and most of all for his friendship. And, I wish him the best in his retirement.”

Silliman attributes his success to Mayor Jackson’s leadership and has been a strong advocate for City residents. He was instrumental in helping Mayor Jackson honor his commitments to reinstate the 5-year capital improvement program and leverage streetscape projects to enhance neighborhood commercial areas. 

He has also worked on comprehensive homelessness, workforce and community incentives, including a plan to create more than 500 apartments for people with histories of long-term homelessness and disabilities. Silliman has also created a $2.6 million project to buy and renovate buildings to create transitional housing for the homeless. 

Silliman developed a four-year $31 million funding plan for a regional 800 Megahertz radio communications system. He has also provided staff support to Mayor Jackson’s $6.5 million renovation of the Historic League Park ball diamond. Silliman is one of the nation’s experts on stadium and arena financing and contract negotiations.

“I’m grateful to have worked for Mayor Jackson, who is dedicated to increasing choices for those who have the fewest choices in life,” said Silliman. “Mayor Jackson is here for what most of us in City Hall are here for – making Cleveland better. He’s 100 percent about Cleveland and Clevelanders. My lengthy tenure as Chief of Staff is solely a result of his leadership, loyalty and vision for making Cleveland better, and providing all Clevelanders with opportunity for equitable health, wealth and prosperity.”

Silliman’s extensive public service career has spanned more than 29 years. He served under three administrations in the City of Cleveland, the late Senator and Mayor George V. Voinovich, Mayor Michael R. White and Mayor Frank G. Jackson.  He is a Northeast Ohio native and lawyer who has practiced throughout the country including New York and North Carolina. 

The City of Cleveland has not announced an interim Chief of Staff.  

About the City of Cleveland 

The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life of its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at, Twitter at @cityofcleveland or Facebook at