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Updated: May 1, 2023 / Power 50 for 2023

2023 Power 50: Eric Batista

man in blue suit Photo | Emmanuel Boakye, courtesy of City of Worcester Worcester City Manager Eric Batista
Eric Batista  Title City manager Organization City of Worcester Residence Worcester College UMass Amherst, Assumption University in Worcester Read all the 2023 Power 50 profiles here
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In the second largest city in New England, the city manager is the municipality’s CEO, more powerful than the mayor. He oversees a $778-million budget and almost 8,000 employees.

In late 2022, when Eric Batista became the first Hispanic city manager in Worcester history, he inherited a gold rush of real estate investment bringing in new investment but also displacing longtime residents, a police department about to face a federal Department of Justice investigation, teachers seeking a new contract, and an unflattering report of racial disparity in city government.

Since his promotion from assistant city manager, he has established a new Executive Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; implemented the Body Worn Camera Program for police officers; and completed a racial equity audit. His administration is nearing final approval on an inclusionary zoning policy to get more affordable housing into new developments, and he has initiated a search for a chief equity officer.

How should professionals best use the power they wield? “Leadership is nothing if not the power to influence change. Our effectiveness as leaders is measured by both the achievements of those we lead, as well as the culture we shape within our institutional systems. We often remove people from the equation when we talk about systemic change, but the reality is that we, the people, are the system. The only thing standing in the way of transformative change is ourselves.”

The chair and the throne: “I come from a family of barbers and musicians, both of which I am myself. In my spare time, you can find me in deep conversation behind the chair cutting hair or playing the drums with family and friends.”

Read all the 2023 Power 50 profiles here.

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