Asian Leadership in Detroit (1) – Sandra Yu Stahl

Chief Procurement Officer to manage purchasing and contracting for the City of Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Aug. 11 the appointment of Sandra Yu Stahl as Chief Executive Officer of the Procurement Department, which will oversee purchasing and contracting for the city government.

As head of the General Services Department, Stahl had been responsible for Detroit’s city government responsibilities, including facilities, vehicles, parks, recreation, plague treatment and animal control.

With 800 employees and running a city services budget of $150 million, Stahl last year oversaw recreation center expansion, Skills for Life workforce development and beautification projects across Detroit.

“My goal is to continue to maintain the leadership of my senior Boysie Jackson in accordance with the principles of integrity and inclusion,” said Stahl, who was given the new mission humbly. “We will look for the most efficient solutions.”

Duggan is confident that “a new team led by Sandra Yu Stahl and the appointed Deputy Director Toni Limmitt will continue the proud legacy of the retired Boysie Jackson.”

Sandra Yu Stahl

Prior to joining the City of Detroit in 2018, Sandra Yu Stahl served as CitizenDetroit’s Director of Policy and Assessment, where she successfully ran a dialogue with residents about issues important to Detroit’s recovery from bankruptcy.

Prior to that, Stahl worked for the private sector and environmental justice managing community initiatives for Loveland Technologies (now Regrid), a nonprofit that drives strategic initiatives for Detroit residents.

She also served on the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Doing Development Differently in Detroit (D4), and served on the board of MACC Development since 2013 and volunteered for the youth ministry of the 48214 since 2014.

Stahl is a 2013-14 Detroit Revitalization Fellow, a 2010-12 Great Lakes Leadership Academy alumna, and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In all her work, Stahl brings a commitment to excellence, passion for equity, and dedication to integrity and stewardship of the public trust.

Stahl, who had a special affection for Detroit, is raising four young children with her husband in the Pingree Park area to the east of Detroit. Of their four children, they also have two black daughters they adopted at the end of the foster care for them.

After graduating from MIT, she volunteered to teach children in Mexico. At the time she devoted to work for the home state. Volunteering in third world countries, she was fascinated by helping people in need.

She took classes at MIT and Harvard University on how to run non-profit organizations, and she was getting ready to serve Detroit.

Frankly speaking, there were many worried voices around her when she was moving to Detroit after setting Detroit as her career destination. But she said, “I want to add ‘Among the people’ to Lincoln’s speech of ‘ …Of the people, By the people, and For the people….”. “To serve Detroit, you have to live with them in Detroit”, she added. She also warn “Not to fear Detroit. The blind fear of Detroit blacks makes them angry.”

Committed to dedicating her youth for Detroit since 2008, she is now at the highest position as an Asian American in the history of the City of Detroit, but she has already become a proud and respectable top leader, not only in her position, but also in her thoughts and attitudes toward life.

Unlike those who think of Detroit as a ‘failure’, Sandra Yu Stahl, who has dedicated herself to Detroit, is inspiring people around her to respect her and what she is doing for the city.

Tack Kim |

MI Asian
Author: MI Asian