Coronado’s Assistant City Manager, Dominique Albrecht, is the rare combination of a detail oriented policy whiz, and a friendly, approachable, engaged listener.
“I love the fact that people in Coronado are so interested and care so much. I love public engagement, it shapes our approach to managing the city. I really enjoy interfacing with the public and taking phone calls or meeting in the [city hall] lobby with people who really want to understand issues,” she said.
Albrecht spends her days tending to everything from the city’s day-to-day operations to management of major facility and infrastructure projects. Prior to her current position she served as the Administrative Services director and as an assistant to the city manager.
Dominique started working for the City of Coronado in 2016 and is well versed in our local government, from code compliance and economic development to labor negotiations and legislative issues. Recently, and notably, (especially to council members and the organizations that annually submit grant requests), she facilitated a much-needed overhaul of the community grant program.
After five years in Coronado Albrecht also knows her way around the local lunch spots. She loves eating at Feast and Fareway, but her all time favorite lunch is the chicken curry salad at Tartine. “It’s amazing. It’s my favorite lunch and a staple in my diet!” she laughed.
As a full-time working mom of two children, an 8 year old son and 4 year old daughter, Albrecht has to be organized and efficient both at work and at home. She’s always busy. “At work if I feel like I’m not making a lot of progress I will get up and take a walk and pick up trash along the way. Then I feel like at least I’m helping keep the city clean,” she laughed, noting that when walking with the police and fire chiefs they both do the same thing.
Dominique and her family live in San Diego and she enjoys her daily commute to Coronado. “I catch up with work by listening to a council or other meeting for clarification on something. And I love driving over the bridge and seeing the city. I just feel honored and grateful to be here.”
“I’m also very lucky that my husband is a full-time dad who can stay home with the kids. He’s a musician and he teaches music. He’s very supportive of my work and sometimes brings the kids to Coronado when I’m working,” she said.
The family also loves the outdoors, parks, and especially going to the San Diego Zoo. “I’m from the east coast so I appreciate the weather. A lot! With COVID we have really enjoyed the simple times we spend together outdoors.”
Albrecht is a first generation American. Her grandmother emigrated from Jamaica when Dominique’s mother was a teenager. She and her cousins are the first generation of the family to be born in the U.S. She grew up in Maryland and came to San Diego when she married.
“I grew up in the DC area and thought from a young age that I wanted to be in some kind of public service,” she said. “When I first started out I thought I was going to go the healthcare policy route.”
With a bachelor’s degree in Law from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from DePaul University, she began her public service career as an analyst for a nonpartisan commission that advised the U.S. Senate on healthcare policy. However, after moving to San Diego with her husband she realized that federal healthcare policy was not being made in southern California.
Albrecht pivoted, and found a variety of jobs that gave her the broad experience that serves her so well in local government. She worked in housing and community development for the County of San Diego; as a marketing and corporate communications manager for an engineering and construction firm; and as a senior business analyst for UCSD. She reflected that she “discovered that the thing I liked most about all those jobs was the public service element.”
“I actually think that the closest way anyone can serve the public is through local government. When I started in Coronado in 2016 as an analyst I had a strong connection to the work right away and knew that local government is where I wanted to be. I love interfacing with different departments, activities, and programs,” shared Albrecht.
“We have a great team right now in Coronado. People who are passionate and who contribute. It was amazing during COVID, so many people went the extra mile so that we could continue to provide city services,” she commented of current city staff.
In addition to her experience working with different departments, her institutional knowledge will be helpful to the city with a new city manager coming on board. She will be the constant between the former, current interim, and future city managers [Blair King, Mark Ochenduzsko, and Tina Friend].
“Continuity working on issues is important and I want to be a resource to help bridge gaps and help Tina [Friend] get up to speed. I am really looking forward to working with her,” she commented, adding that she has been fortunate to learn from both King and Ochenduzsko.
Friend is scheduled to start work in mid September. “It’s an exciting time to experience this transition in city managers,” said Albrecht.
It’s an exciting time for the City of Coronado too. Tina Friend will be Coronado’s first female city manager and she will join and lead a strong talented team. Of women. The entire department will be staffed by women: Friend; Albrecht; Senior Management Analysts Janine Zuniga and Kelly Purvis; Secretary to the City Manager Michele Miller; and Management Analyst Kara Casey.