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Dame Stella Gordon Manzie DBE (born 13 June 1960) is a British public servant and civil servant. She has a reputation for "turning round failing local authorities", having served as chief executive for both Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Birmingham City Council following issues in those areas.[1]

Dame Stella Manzie

Stella Gordon Manzie

(1960-06-13) 13 June 1960 (age 59)
Alma materNewnham College, Cambridge
OccupationCivil servant


Early lifeEdit

Manzie was born on 13 June 1960 to senior civil servant Gordon Manzie and Rosalind Manzie. She was educated at Hertfordshire and Essex Girls' High School and Fettes College before studying for an English degree at Newnham College, Cambridge.[2] She completed postgraduate study at the Polytechnic of Central London and University of Birmingham, the latter in Local Government and Health in 1992.[1][3]


Manzie became an administrative assistant for Aberdeen City Council in 1982, before becoming an administrative officer for the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers in 1984. She worked as a team leader in Birmingham City Council for a year before becoming a management consultant in Price Waterhouse Management Consultants in 1988, a role she held before returning to local government in 1992, when she worked as borough director for Redditch Borough Council, where she was the youngest council executive in the country. During her time at Redditch Borough Council, she "oversaw a 25 per cent cut in spending and cull of senior management".[1]

In 1997 she became chief executive for the first time, starting in West Berkshire Council before moving onto Coventry City Council in 2001. In her seven years as chief executive of Coventry City Council, she oversaw its improvement from a start as one of the worst-performing local authorities in the country.[4]

She worked as a senior civil servant in the Scottish Government from 2008 to 2011, first as Director General for finance, then as Director General for Justice and Communities.[1]

After that, she returned to local government, serving as Chief Executive of Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council for a year in the run-up to the 2012 Summer Olympics. She was brought in as Managing Director Commissioner for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in 2015 following scandals around child sexual exploitation, in which role she "steered it through its recovery".[1][5] She served as interim Chief Executive for Birmingham City Council from 2017 to 2018, which had also previously been struggling with child protection and delivering cuts.[1][5][6] During her time running Birmingham City Council, Unite the Union leader Len McCluskey accused her of "taking a hard line" with striking bin workers, opposing the union's proposed deal, and a local Unite the Union leader called for her resignation, which council leader Ian Ward described as "wholly inappropriate".[7][8][9]

Other officesEdit

Manzie has been a visiting fellow at the Open University since 2013. She served as chair of Cambridge Literary Festival from 2013 to 2015, and has been a trustee of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation from 2017.[10] She has served as a director of Warwick Business School and a non-executive director of HM Treasury.[11]


Manzie was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2001, and a Commander in 2007. She was made a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 2018 for services to local government.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Elkes, Neil (20 March 2017). "Who is Birmingham City Council's new chief exec". birminghammail. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Four new Newnham Dames honoured in Queen's Birthday Honours List | Newnham College". Newnham College. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Manzie, Stella Gordon, (born 13 June 1960), Managing Director Commissioner, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, 2015–16; Interim Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council, since 2017 | WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.001.0001/ww-9780199540884-e-42871.
  4. ^ "RMBC commissioner made a dame in Queen's birthday honours list". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b Horsfall, Jonathan. "Birmingham to name Stella Manzie as Interim Chief Executive". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Birmingham City Council to get new interim chief executive". ITV News. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  7. ^ Elkes, Neil (17 September 2017). "What Unite chief Len McCluskey told rally for city's striking binmen". birminghammail. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  8. ^ Elkes, Neil (12 September 2017). "Ex-council boss made 'factually incorrect' bin strike statement". birminghammail. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  9. ^ Pidd, Helen (11 September 2017). "Birmingham council leader quits over handling of bin strike". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  10. ^ Jones, Tamlyn (8 June 2018). "Former city council chief made dame in Birthday Honours". birminghampost. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Stella Manzie CBE". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Order of the British Empire: Civil Division". The Gazette.