Houston Mayor Annise Parker has been named the top mayor in the US by the international think tank City Mayors Foundation.
Parker, a lesbian who married her longtime partner last year, was ranked seventh from 26 finalists and is the only US mayor to finish in the top 10.
‘It’s a great honor to be recognized for doing what I love for a city that I dearly love,’ Parker tells CultureMap Houston.
She calls being mayor of Houston ‘the best political job in the world.’
‘It provides the opportunity to shape the future of one of the great American cities,’ Parker says. ‘I am humbled that others view this work as worthy of being right up there with the accomplishments of my mayoral colleagues around the world.’
The World Mayor Jury cited Parker for her ‘adept balancing of social and economic issues while making significant progress on both during her three terms as mayor.’
She was also praised for policies that enabled the city to remain fiscally healthy during the worst of the recent recession which set the stage ‘for the tremendous economic growth’ the city enjoys today.
The jury also stated: ‘She champions human rights issues such as by being a pioneer — first openly-gay mayor of a major city — and a role model.’
The complete Top 10 World Mayor rankings:
1. Naheed Nenshi, Calgary
2. DaniÃ«l Termont, Ghent, Belgium
3. Tri Rismaharini, Surabaya, Indonesia
4. Carlos Ocariz, Sucre, Venezuela
5. Jed Patrick Mabilog, Iloilo City, Philippines
6. Albrecht Schröter, Jena, Germany
7. Annise Parker, Houston
8. Yiannis Boutaris, Thessaloniki, Greece
9. Giusy Nicolini, Lampedusa, Italy
10. Aziz Kocaoglu, Izmir, Turkey