Council appoints Chief Administrative Officer

Written by Submitted


Kneehill County Council has found a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to take the helm of leadership.

Mike Haugen will be assuming his new role and responsibilities beginning May 1, 2019.

Beginning his municipal career in the Alberta Municipal Affairs Internship program, Haugen has been serving in a leadership capacity for over 13 years.

After successfully completing the Municipal Internship Program, he spent just under two years as the CAO with the Village of Caroline, while also concurrently serving as the Community Services Coordinator for Clearwater County.

Following that, he moved into a director role with Clearwater County, based out of Rocky Mountain House.

He was then recruited as the CAO with the MD of Greenview, the province’s third largest rural municipality based on geographical footprint, where he spent the past five years.

In addition to many relevant courses, Haugen has a Certificate in Globalization & Governance, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, his Certificate in Municipal Management & Leadership, as well as his National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration which earned him his Certified Local Government Manager designation.

Council felt that Haugen brings the right mix of education, hands-on experience and leadership to Kneehill County and that with his addition to the team, he will be an asset to the organization and the county.

“We had a number of candidates to pick from and we felt that Mike would be the best fit for our organization,” said Kneehill County Reeve, Jerry Wittstock.

Haugen comes with a vast professional network of contacts, as well as a solid understanding of central Alberta and local government best practices.

In late 2018, then CAO Al Hoggan announced his resignation, taking the position of nearby Rockyview County CAO shortly thereafter.

Peter Tarnawsky was instilled as interim CAO until county administration and council conducted their recruitment process over the past three months.

Since Tarnawsky recently departed, Laurie Watt, Director of Municipal Services, will serve as the Interim CAO until Haugen begins full-time next month.

“We had an interim CAO and it was not perfect but Peter did a fantastic job for us and we’ve had good luck with Peter and unfortunately he had to leave a little bit early.”

Council is confident that with the addition of Haugen to the existing team, Kneehill County is well positioned for whatever the future holds.

“We look forward to welcoming him to our team at Kneehill County and we look forward together at the beginning of a new chapter in Kneehill County,” said Reeve Wittstock.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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