What Alumni Say About IPA

photo of Kyle Sonnenberg in City Council chambersKyle Sonnenberg

Take a look at what Kyle Sonnenberg said in an interview about his career and his experiences at IPA looking back, now that he’s been in the workforce for more than five years.

current position: City Manager, Newark, Del.
UD degree: MPA, University of Delaware 1981, Urban and Personnel Management


Q.What is your current position?

A.I am the city manager of Newark, Del.

Q.What experiences have you had that helped qualify you for this position?

A.Since receiving my Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Delaware, I have served for 28 years in a variety of municipal settings—from a large metropolitan city (Dallas, Tex.) to suburban (McKinney, Tex.) to more of a small retirement community (Southern Pines, N.C.) to a city largely comprising military families (Fayetteville, N.C.).

Q.What challenges are unique to you as City Manager?

A.In general, I believe the biggest challenge is the disconnect [in the public’s mind] between the cost to provide services and the services they [the public] receive.

Q.What excites you about your job?

A.What excites me about being a city manager are the possibilities to make a difference for people. I’ve always had an interest in public issues. My father worked for a private corporation his whole career. That would not interest me at all! I value things that governments do. We’re impacting people’s daily lives, and that’s why I’m in this line of work.

Q.Looking back, what is the most important thing you learned at IPA that has helped you the most?

A.The most valuable course I took while here was a land-use law course. Little did I know at the time that I’d be so involved in land use. I’m so grateful for the full University Fellowship I received to come here for my graduate degree, I credit several of my professors, including Jeff Raffel, Jerome Lewis, and then–adjunct faculty Henry Folsom for the quality education.

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