Alison Leighton appointed council CEO

Alison Leighton appointed council CEO
Sean Car

Having served as acting City of Melbourne CEO following the sudden resignation of former CEO Justin Hanney in 2022, Alison Leighton has officially been appointed to the city’s top job following an independent recruitment process. 

Ms Leighton has served as the acting CEO since October 2022, during which time the council said she had “driven the implementation of the Council Plan and lifted the organisation’s focus on customer service and operational excellence”.

“She has improved transparency and accountability across the organisation, introducing a renewed focus on empowerment, culture and leadership, as well as working to create a contemporary, diverse and inclusive workplace,” a City of Melbourne statement said. 

Having joined the council in April 2020 in a general manager role, Ms Leighton was promoted to the position of Deputy CEO six months later and has more than 18 years of leadership experience in infrastructure, planning, operations and public sector business transformation.     

Prior to joining the City of Melbourne, Ms Leighton was the CEO at Baw Baw Shire Council and the chief operating officer at Mornington Peninsula Shire.  

She is a qualified engineer, an alumnus of Harvard Business School, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and holds a masters in business administration.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp described Ms Leighton as a “champion of Melbourne”. 

“On behalf of Councillors, I congratulate Alison Leighton on her appointment as CEO of City of Melbourne,” Cr Capp said. 


Since she stepped into the role of Acting CEO in October, Alison has been a diligent, fair and passionate leader for the organisation and wider community.


Ms Leighton said she felt “incredibly privileged” to be given the opportunity. 

“As Australia’s largest city, I look forward to supporting Council to deliver on what matters most to our growing community, embracing the future with confidence – and positioning Melbourne as a prosperous, liveable and attractive global city,” she said. 

The recruitment process was led by an independently chaired committee. Ms Leighton is contracted as CEO until July 2027. • 

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