Mayor Ben Walsh is the 54th Chief Executive Officer of the City of Syracuse. The first independent mayor of Syracuse, Walsh was first elected to the position in 2017. He was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term in 2021.
Upon becoming Mayor in 2018, Walsh and his team created a new vision for Syracuse: to be a growing city that embraces diversity and creates opportunity for all. After decades of decline, the city's population began rising again before the end of his first term.
In 2019 Walsh launched the Syracuse Surge, the city's strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy. Under his leadership, Syracuse became New York's "Flagship Smart City" and was selected as one of five U.S. cities in 2019 to receive a JP Morgan Chase $3 Million Advancing Cities grant.
In preparation for the massive Interstate 81 viaduct project, Walsh created Syracuse Build, a training and workforce development program focused on the construction industry and related careers. The program is successfully helping city residents enter apprenticeships and careers in construction.
Walsh has made affordable housing a critical priority. He introduced the Resurgent Neighborhoods Initiative in 2019, which is building the first affordable new construction single- and two-family homes in the city in decades. The program is also advancing hundreds of additional units of affordable housing at multiple sites around the city. His administration is working in close coordination with the Syracuse Housing Authority and Blueprint 15, a community organization, on the New 15th Ward, a initiative to rebuild more than 1,000 public housing units on the city's near southside.
Working in partnership with county government, Walsh guided the City of Syracuse through the COVID-19 pandemic. He created a comprehensive plan for American Rescue Plan Act pandemic relief. Working in coordination with the Syracuse Common Council, his administration has ensured the full $123 million in funding dedicated to Syracuse has been allocated.
Walsh is a native of Syracuse whose approach to leadership and public service was shaped by growing up on the city's West Side neighborhood in a family of proud public servants. He attended and graduated from Ithaca College before attending Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University where he earned his Master's in Public Administration (MPA).
Before becoming Mayor, Ben Walsh played a lead role in some of the most transformational projects in Syracuse's recent history. From the creation of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank to the successful redevelopment of the Hotel Syracuse, Walsh earned a reputation as a pragmatic and collaborative leader who brings the right people together to get the job done. In his six years working at City Hall, as the deputy commissioner of neighborhood and business development, he interacted with business owners and neighborhood residents on a daily basis.
Mayor Walsh currently resides on the city's West Side with his wife, Lindsay, and their two daughters. In his spare time Mayor Walsh enjoys spending time with his girls, watching Syracuse University sports, and exploring urban and rural landscapes.