Podcast: Marcela Piedra Advises “Never Stop Learning”

In this episode of United Front, Marcela Piedra, the first female CAO of El Centro, California, believes no matter where you are in your career, you always need to be learning.

Marcela Piedra is the first female CAO of El Centro, California. As a 20-year veteran of local government, she has moved through a number of departments, including economic development and community services, before moving to the CAO position. With this extensive experience, plus her educational background, Piedra is a well-respected leader and role model. Piedra believes that having had a city manager that “really embraced diversity,” helped her with the confidence to step into the leadership role she now holds. Here are a few other highlights:

  • You have to believe in yourself first because if you don’t, how can you expect others to believe in you.
  • Remember, you are a role model for every woman in the community and beyond.
  • Be open to learning everything you possibly can; you have to be teachable no matter what you do.
  • We’re all going to have challenges, it’s the relationships you have built that help you get through the difficult times.

“To have an opportunity to change and impact people’s lives….and an opportunity to work with a group of people dedicated to what they do…how can I not love it?”

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Marcela Piedra, city manager of El Centro, California



As you follow along with United Front, a special season of Local Gov Life, and listen to these brief stories of six women leaders in local government, join the conversation on social media. Look for the hashtag #SheLeadsGov on Twitter and use it to share stories about the groundbreaking women in local government whom you know. 

Join ICMA's Erika White on the United Front podcast, a special season of Local Gov Life, as she takes you behind-the-scenes with women chief administrative officers (CAO) who have been selected as their community's first female manager. Listen-in for a real discussion on how they made it to the top and what advice they have for women looking to lead in the same role. Subscribe to Local Gov Life on iTunes or Google Play Music.

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