Former Akron school board member James Hardy will serve as the city administration's transition coordinator and then as chief of staff beginning in January.



Current Mayor Jeff Fusco, who will return to an at-large seat on council in January, and mayor-elect Dan Horrigan announced the appointment in a joint press release Monday afternoon. Fusco said Hardy will "set the groundwork for a seamless changegover."



Horrigan said he has known Hardy for 15 years and has seen him emerge as a "committed, thoughtful leader."



"He has always impressed me with his ability to manage complex issues and challenges with integrity and judgement," Horrigan said. "His knowledge of Akron, and diverse professional background, make him well-suited for this role."



Hardy, 31, currently serves as an assistant director for community health for Summit County Public Health. Before this he was a special assistant to the president and board of trustees at Kent State University, a regional liaison for former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and an executive intern for former President Bill Clinton. When he was elected to the Akron school board in 2005, he was only 21 and was thought to be the youngest board member ever.



Hardy will begin his chief of staff position Jan. 1. Ellen Lander Nischt, an assistant law director, has been temporarily filling this position.



Hardy will earn $106,454 a year.