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Harper Donahue, IV

Department of Employee Relations

Harper Donahue, IV serves as the City of Milwaukee’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of the Department of Employee Relations. Appointed to the role in 2022 by Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Donahue is responsible for the oversight and direction of the City’s civil service system, onboarding, recruitment and retention, classification and compensation, pay and benefits administration, employee training and development, safety, grievance administration, compliance, and employee relations matters. As a member of the Mayor’s cabinet, Donahue advises the Mayor and fellow cabinet members on employment matters, regulatory compliance, and best employment practices.

Most recently, Harper served as the Director of Human Resources for the City of Madison. In Madison, Harper provided strategic oversight on all HR Department areas of responsibility and offered executive-level counsel to the Mayor, City Department/Division Heads, Common Council, and City leaders. Prior to that, Harper held several positions with the City of Madison, including Labor Relations Specialist, HR Generalist, and Civil Rights Recruitment Specialist with the City’s Department of Civil Rights. Before joining the City of Madison’s workforce in 2005, Harper was an Outreach Specialist with the UW-Madison PEOPLE Program (Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence), a pre-college program designed to increase student of color representation on UW’s campus.

Mr. Donahue received undergraduate degrees in History and Women’s Studies from UW-Madison, an M.B.A. from UW-Madison, and a certificate in Labor Relations from UW-Milwaukee.

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