Karen S. Conard HeadshotKaren Conard was appointed City Manager of Portsmouth in January 2020, with more than thirty years of experience in the public sector. Read Her Full Biography.

City Manager Functions

Portsmouth has functioned as a City Council/City Manager form of government since 1947.

The City Manager carries out policy decisions of the City Council, and oversees all property, real and personal, owned by the City. The Manager keeps the Council informed of the City’s needs and ongoing conditions, and make reports as may be required by law, or requested by the Council, or judged necessary by the Manager.

As Chief Executive for the City, the City Manager is the responsible supervisor for all department heads, and acts to appoint, suspend, remove, or discipline all municipal employees in the administrative service of the City; that is, all but those employees supervised by Fire, Police, or School board or commission.

On an annual basis, the City Manager provides to the City Council an Operating Budget, a Budget Statement, and a long-range Capital Plan. These documents outline the immediate and longer range financial and project plans for the City.

About the Department


CM Team pictureDeputy City Manager/Regulatory Counsel
Suzanne Woodland: 603-610-7240         

Director of Communications & Community Engagement
Monte Bohanan: 603-970-1475

Assistant to the City Manager
Jessica Griffin: 603-610-7202

Administrative Assistant
Joanna Diemer: 603-610-7211

For a short video introduction and overview of the Department, please click here.

Please contact Jessica Griffin for LGBTQIA+ related concerns as the City Manager's office serves as an accessible and friendly ear to the City's LGBTQIA+ community, and elevates related concerns to City Management and City Officials.