City of Ottawa hires new General Manager of Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development

The City of Ottawa welcomes Stephen Willis as the General Manager of Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development. Mr. Willis is a Registered Professional Planner and Professional Land Economist with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sector, including 15 years as Vice President and Partner with MMM Group Limited, and most recently as a Senior Principal at Stantec Consulting Ltd. He will assume the role of General Manager on February 27, 2017.

Mr. Willis will be responsible for increasing the City’s economic viability through planning and infrastructure initiatives as well as finding economic opportunities to create new growth and prosperity in the Ottawa area. As General Manager, Mr. Willis will be responsible for a $102 million operating budget and a $500 million capital budget, along with the management of risks, service delivery, organizational effectiveness and execution on major projects.


“On behalf of Council and the residents of Ottawa, I am pleased to welcome Stephen Willis to the City. As General Manager, Stephen will lead the team that is responsible for completing a number of ongoing city building projects including the Ottawa Art Gallery expansion and the Combined Sewage and Storage Tunnel. His experience and vision will advance our innovative urban planning approach to move our great city forward. Ottawa is booming and we need to be ready to lead a progressive planning agenda that grows our city with intention, purpose and vision.”

-Mayor Jim Watson

“Stephen Willis has a diverse and impressive career and will bring valuable insight to the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department. Stephen started his career as a student working for the City of Ottawa and we are pleased today to welcome him home.”

-City Manager Steve Kanellakos

Quick Facts:

  • Mr. Willis has held a number of positions in the Ottawa area, including Executive Director of the Capital Planning Branch for the National Capital Commission
  • Significant accomplishments include the initiation and oversight of the LeBreton Flats Phase 2 development proposal call process
  • Instrumental in completing the Western Light Rail Transit alignment agreement
  • Completion of the Plan for Canada’s Capital 2017-2067, the Capital Urban Lands Master Plan and the Capital Military Commemoration Plan
  • Worked for the City of Toronto’s Economic Development Corporation as the Principal Planner, and as a Planner for the Region of Durham and the Ministry of Environment and Energy
  • He holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario