Alex Briseño, St. Mary’s University Professor of Public Service in Residence, received the ICMA (International City/County Management Association) Distinguished Service Award on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the organization’s 2017 national conference, held in San Antonio.
The lifetime achievement award is “presented to a city, town or county manager who has retired from and made an outstanding contribution to the local government management profession,” according to the ICMA. “The award recognizes those individuals whose service has been evaluated by their peers as strong or exceptional and who have made major contributions beyond direct service to local government.”
“I have to share this award with St Mary’s and the opportunity I’ve had to nurture our MPA students and watch them progress in their careers in local government,” Briseño said.
Briseño retired as city manager of San Antonio in March 2001 after serving almost 11 years in office. As chief executive officer, he managed the administration of a full-service municipal government as directed by city council and oversaw an annual budget of $1.2 billion.
Briseño supervised the activities of all city departments with 12,000 employees, serving a community of more than 1.1 million residents and 417 square miles. During his tenure as city manager, he worked under four different mayors and 39 city council members.
His career with the city started in 1977 as assistant to the city manager, and in 1980 he became assistant city manager, ultimately supervising almost every city department.
Before entering city government, he earned the rank of Captain while serving in the U.S. Army, including as Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of the Army Medical Research & Development Command in Washington, D.C.
Since his retirement, Briseño has been appointed Professor of Public Service in Residence at St. Mary’s University, where he teaches graduate courses in Public Administration. In addition, he frequently addresses participants in public and private sector professional development seminars. He also has provided municipal consulting services for Estrada Hinojosa and Co., an investment banking firm, the North American Development Bank, and other clients.
He has also served short-term appointments as interim president of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, interim president/chief executive officer of the San Antonio Water System, interim president/CEO of the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative Network, and interim executive director of the Brooks Development Authority.
He also served for more than five years as chairman of the board of trustees for the San Antonio Water System and has been a member of the board of managers for the Bexar County University Health System since 2001. He was chairman of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2013.
He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Trinity University in San Antonio.