For the cricketer, see Steve Goldsmith (cricketer).

Stephen "Steve" Goldsmith (born December 12, 1946) is the former mayor of Indianapolis and served as the Deputy Mayor of New York City for Operations, stepping down effective August 4, 2011. He is currently the Daniel Paul Professor of Government, Director of Innovations in Government Program, and Director of Data-Smart City Solutions at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Early life and career

Goldsmith was born on December 12, 1946, in Indianapolis. He is a graduate of Wabash College and the University of Michigan Law School where he earned a Juris Doctor degree. Goldsmith is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Political career

Marion County Prosecutor

In 1978, Goldsmith began his political career by defeating Democratic Judge Andrew Jacobs Sr. in the race for Marion County Prosecutor. Goldsmith continued to serve in this capacity for 12 years (1979–1991), when the opportunity to run for Mayor of Indianapolis presented itself.

Race for Lieutenant Governor

In 1988, John Mutz made an unsuccessful bid for Governor of Indiana, calling upon Goldsmith to be his running mate. Mutz and Goldsmith lost to the Democratic ticket of Evan Bayh and Frank O'Bannon.[1]

Mayor of Indianapolis

In 1991, Goldsmith ran under the Republican banner for mayor, defeating his Democratic opponent Louis Mahern by a clear majority. Goldsmith served as Mayor of Indianapolis for two terms from 1992 to 2000.

Bid for Indiana Governor

Goldsmith was the Republican candidate for Governor of Indiana in 1996 against Lieutenant Governor Frank O'Bannon. O'Bannon defeated Goldsmith 52% to 47%. Despite being Mayor of Indianapolis, Goldsmith failed to win Marion County, which includes Indianapolis. O'Bannon overcame an early deficit in the polls by focusing on his long history of public service, his true Indiana roots and mismanagement of the city of Indianapolis while Goldsmith was mayor. The Goldsmith campaign was unable to successfully rebut "allegations of influence peddling" and accusations that cuts in spending had undermined the city's ability to process sewage.[2] In addition, "polls also showed that his negative campaign ads were unpopular with voters."[2]

Chief domestic policy advisor

Goldsmith was chief domestic policy advisor to President George W. Bush in the 2000 campaign and then served as Special Advisor to President Bush on faith-based and not-for-profit initiatives. He was appointed chair of the Board of Directors for the Corporation for National and Community Service in 2001, a position he still holds.

Deputy Mayor of New York

On April 30, 2010, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he would appoint Goldsmith to become Deputy Mayor for Operations, a position he held until August 4, 2011.[3] He had responsibility for the city’s Police, Fire, Sanitation, and Buildings departments, among others, in his 14-month period of service.[4] Goldsmith was tasked by Bloomberg with advancing an innovation agenda in the city and his work led to enhancements to the city's use of technology, improved restaurant licensing, and faster processing of building permits.[5] Goldsmith oversaw the launch of the 311 Service Request Map,[6] the NYC Simplicity Idea Market employee crowdsourcing platform [7] and the Change By Us NYC community collaboration portal.[8] Goldsmith supervised the repair of the troubled CityTime employee timekeeping system [9] and initiated several public-private partnerships in the areas of energy, wastewater management, and parking.[10]The New York Times suggested that his "short tenure was complicated by controversies, most notably after the city’s slow response to a crippling snowstorm in December." [11]

Just days before his resignation, Goldsmith was arrested after a domestic altercation with his wife and spent two nights in a Washington jail due to a mandatory arrest law.[12] Charges were not filed and the Goldsmiths contested the police report. Mayor Bloomberg came under criticism for not disclosing the reason for the resignation.[13] On January 4, 2012, a Washington Superior Court judge found that Goldsmith was, as a matter of law, "actually innocent", and that there was no assault during the argument between him and his wife. A ruling of "actual innocence" requires the defendant to appear before a judge and demonstrate proof that the offense did not occur - a higher standard than showing a lack of evidence of crime.[14]

Private sector

Goldsmith was a Partner of Knowledge Universe, which invests in internet-oriented education companies, day care and childhood learning companies, and B2B companies, principally in business and human resources consulting and online training.[15]

He also was the Chairman Emeritus of the Manhattan Institute's (a policy research think tank) Center for Civic Innovation.

Electoral history

Indianapolis mayoral election, 1991[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Stephen Goldsmith 110,545 56
Democratic Louis Mahern 79,817 41


In addition to contributing to publications such as the New York Times, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, and Governing, Goldsmith has written several books on government such as:

  • The Responsive City, Jossey Bass, 2014.
  • The Power of Social Innovation, Jossey Bass, 2010.
  • Governing By Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector: Brookings Institution. 2004.
  • Putting Faith In Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work Through Grassroots Citizenship: Hudson Institute. 2002.
  • The Entrepreneurial City: A How-To Handbook for Urban Innovators. Editor, Manhattan Institute. 1999.
  • The Twenty-First Century City Resurrecting Urban America: Regnery 1997


  1. ^ RetroIndy: Stephen Goldsmith, Former mayor of Indianapolis
  2. ^ a b Smith, Wes (November 6, 1996). "Democrats Score In Gubernatorial Races". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Former Indianapolis Mayor Takes NYC Deputy Mayor Post". April 30, 2010. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ Kludt, Amanda "City Makes Serious Effort to Cut Red Tape for Restaurants", Eater, March 24, 2011.
  5. ^ “Deputy Mayor Goldsmith, Deputy Mayor Steel and Buildings Commissioner LiMandri Announce Approval of nearly 400 Construction Projects under new Pilot Program”, "NYC Department of Buildings Press Release" June 14, 2011.
  6. ^ Katims, Lauren. “New York City Unveils Real-time 311 Request Map.”, "Government Technology", February 17, 2011.
  7. ^ "Project of Week: NYC Simplicity Idea Market – Virtual Suggestion Box for Employees", "GovLoop", February 13, 2011.
  8. ^ "Deputy Mayor Goldsmith launches Change by Us NYC, a new social media collaboration platform that will enable New Yorkers to submit ideas for improving the city, then take action and connect to city resources", "NYC Mayor’s Office Press Release", July 7, 2011.
  9. ^ Saul, Michael Howard "City Time Finally Clocks In", "Wall Street Journal", May 24, 2011.
  10. ^ Grossman, Andrew "City on the Prowl for Cash", "Market Watch", February 24, 2011.
  11. ^ Hernandez, Javier C., "Goldsmith Quits as Deputy Mayor after 14 Months", 'The New York Times', August 4, 2011.
  12. ^ Howard, Philip "Stephen Goldsmith, Victim of bad law: mandating arrests robs cops of discretion.”,"NY Daily News", September 7, 2011.
  13. ^ Barbaro, Michael "Bloomberg Hid Crucial Detail as Aide Resigned: An Arrest", "The New York Times", September 1, 2011.
  14. ^ Newman, Andy "Former Deputy Mayor Absolved of Domestic Violence", February 17, 2012.
  15. ^ Stephen Goldsmith Profile –
  16. ^ Bodenhamer, David J.; Barrows, Robert Graham (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Vanderstel, David Gordon. Indiana University Press. p. 1356. ISBN 0-253-31222-1. Retrieved November 23, 2008.