EAST LANSING, Mich. — Last week, Interim City Manager Randy Talifarro began his new leadership role with the City of East Lansing, taking over the responsibilities that Acting City Manager Kim Johnson had been handling since January 21, 2023.
Talifarro will serve in this interim role until a permanent city manager is hired for the City of East Lansing.
“During this transitional period, I’m looking forward to working closely with the City’s exceptional, professional staff to maintain quality municipal services for community members, while also helping with the upcoming budget season and organizing the search process for the next city manager. Working to support our MSU partners in this difficult time will also be a priority,” said Talifarro. “After a 20-year career with the East Lansing Fire Department, it’s a pleasure to be back here in the East Lansing community. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running in this interim role.”
Prior to his retirement in 2021, Talifarro served for 20 years as East Lansing’s fire chief and, for six of those years, he served as the chief of both the East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD) and Lansing Fire Department under a shared fire chief agreement between the municipalities. Prior to his career in East Lansing, Talifarro also served with the City of Flint Fire Department (FFD), where he was awarded “Firefighter of the Year” and earned the Medal of Merit in 1993. He also received his State of Michigan Professional Emergency Manager designation in 1998 and received several promotions during his years with FFD, moving through the ranks to become assistant fire chief in 2000.
Talifarro has a Bachelor of Arts in public administration from the University of Michigan and completed the Master of Arts Homeland Security Program through the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, Calif. Additionally, Talifarro was a U.S. Fire Administration fellow at the Executive Education Harvard Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Since his retirement from ELFD, Talifarro has been residing in Arizona and working full time as a safety technician with Arizona State University.
“We appreciate Talifarro returning to East Lansing to serve in this interim role,” said East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon. “As we approach budget season, a lot of my emphasis will be on public safety, which is an area in which Talifarro has extensive experience. This, coupled with his experience working in leadership positions for three separate municipalities and his familiarity with the City’s departments, will be key in ensuring that we do not lose continuity during this time of transition.”