Staff Biographies

Des Moines Skyline

Job Title Full Name Phone More Email
City Manager Scott Sanders 515-283-4141 Bio Email
Deputy City Manager Matthew Anderson 515-283-4141 Bio Email
Assistant City Manager
Pam Cooksey
515-283-4141 Bio Email
Assistant City Manager Malcolm Hankins 515-283-4141 Bio Email
Assistant City Manager Jennifer Schulte 515-283-4058 Bio Email
LGBTQ Liaison/Chief Equity Officer Manisha Paudel 515-237-1483 Bio Email

Biographies

Scott Sanders
City Manager

Scott Sanders was appointed as City Manager in September of 2014 and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the City. Mr. Sanders supervises Department Directors, serves as the primary advisor to the City Council, directs major economic development initiatives, and is the chief negotiator for the City.  He joined the City of Des Moines in 2011 as Finance Director and most recently served as Assistant City Manager. He has a strong background in city management with an emphasis on finance, budgets and administration.  Previous appointments include serving on the MFPRSI (Police and Fire Pension) Board, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Wastewater Reclamation Authority, ex-official on Des Moines Airport Authority Board and Iowa League of Cities Executive Board.   Mr. Sanders received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University and a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning also from Iowa State.  He has worked as a Senior Managing Consultant at Public Financial Management; as the Finance Director for the City of Council Bluffs; Assistant City Manager and Finance Director for the City of West Des Moines.

Matthew A. Anderson
Deputy City Manager

After 10 successful years in real estate development and asset management, Matt joined the City’s Office of Economic Development in 2002.  During the next 15 years, he guided Des Moines through $1 billion of downtown residential development and unprecedented job growth.  The ensuing addition of hospitality, entertainment, and cultural assets have landed Des Moines on countless national top-10 lists.  Matt moved to the City Manager’s Office as Assistant City Manager in 2012, where he continued to oversee economic development efforts and integrated that experience with an expanded roll with the City’s Engineering, Community Development, and Housing departments.  Matt was appointed Deputy City Manager in 2018, serving as the City’s chief operating officer.  Maintaining the cohesive collaboration of a dozen City departments ensures citizen and business interests are equitably aligned and the City’s strategic plan goals are at the forefront of all decisions.   When not working to transform Des Moines, Matt and his wife are busy settling in as new downtown residents and training for Ironman triathlons and marathons.

Pam Cooksey
Assistant City Manager

Pam Cooksey was appointed Assistant City Manager in February 2018.  She is responsible for working with City departments on issues concerning City infrastructure.  Pam began working for the City in 2003 as the City’s Deputy City Engineer managing the department’s design and construction division.  In August 2014 Pam served as the Interim City Engineer before being selected as the City Engineer in January 2015.  In her time at the City, she has worked on many significant projects including the Principal Riverwalk and the Southeast Connector.  Pam’s work has included coordinating with regulatory agencies and developing funding for projects.  Prior to joining the City of Des Moines, Pam was with the Federal Highway Administration in various positions across the country.  She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from the University of Iowa.  Pam is originally from Des Moines.

Malcolm Hankins
Assistant City Manager

Malcolm Hankins was appointed Des Moines Assistant City Manager in November 2019. He has more than 29 years of progressively responsible local government experience in communities in Arizona and Colorado. He most recently served as Neighborhood Services Director for the City of Aurora, CO.  In his current role, Malcolm assists the City Manager working with departments on issues related to, among others, community development, neighborhood revitalization and equitable services. Malcolm studied Administration of Justice at Northern Arizona University and holds a Master of Arts Degree in Ministry from Phoenix Seminary. He is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Servant Leadership Institute (SLI) and American Association of Code Enforcement Officials. Malcolm's commitment to public service stems from a strong belief that people matter and serving the needs of others is the highest form of leading. Since 2007, Malcolm has served as Pastor of First Watch Ministries, Phoenix AZ where he and his family support the marginalized, poor and those experiencing homelessness.

Jen Schulte
Assistant City Manager

Jen joined the City of Des Moines in February of 2016. She has more than a decade of experience in government relations, public affairs, and public relations. Prior to the City, she worked with both leading non-profit organizations and Fortune 50 companies to implement their legislative and advocacy goals. Currently, Jen has oversight of the state and federal policy agendas for the City and works closely with local, state, and federal elected officials to move the City forward. She also oversees the communications and special events for the City and works closely with City departments to coordinate grant opportunities. Jen is an Iowa City native and a graduate of the University of Iowa where she obtained both her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Public Health degrees.

Manisha Paudel
LGBTQ Liaison/Chief Equity Officer

Manisha Paudel joined City of Des Moines as its first Equity Coordinator in late 2017 and was appointed as its first Chief Equity Officer in 2020. She has over 12 years of global experience in human rights, cultural competency, local government, institutionalizing racial equity, and community engagement. She also serves as a Co-chair of Government Alliance on Race and Equity network. Prior to her role in Des Moines, she served the City of Tacoma (WA) as Senior Policy Analyst, City of Dubuque (IA) as Human Relations Specialist, and City of Davenport (IA) as Management and Accreditation Analyst. Manisha is a native of Nepal and received her B.A. in International Relations from Drake University and her M.S. in Public Service Management from DePaul University.