Assistant Town Manager - Operations

Michael Lawson joined the Town of Parker in August 2023 as Assistant Town Manager – Operations. 

In his role, Lawson works in partnership with the Town Manager to provide key leadership, strategic direction and oversight of organizational operations. He serves as a liaison and partner on Town-wide issues and oversees the Greater Parker Foundation, as well as the Cultural and Parks, Recreation and Open Space Departments.

Lawson has an extensive history of working in local government administration. He most recently served as City Manager for the City of Woodland Park (Colo.) beginning in 2020 after initially joining the organization as Assistant City Manager. As City Manager, he led 10 departments and more than 100 employees. His tenure saw the City pay off a major debt issuance 12 years early, stabilize staff turnover through compensation and cultural changes, adopt the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan, and develop a robust community engagement strategy.

Prior to joining Woodland Park, Lawson spent 12 years with the City of Aurora, working in the City Manager’s Office and Budget Office, in addition to stints as interim City Clerk and interim Community Development Manager. One of his greatest professional privileges was acting as Aurora's donations coordinator following the July 20, 2012 Century 16 theater shooting. Prior to his time with Aurora, he worked for the City of San Diego’s Financial Management Department.

Lawson earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California San Diego. He has written several articles and presented to national audiences on the topics of employee retention and the role of empathy in local government. He currently sits on the board of directors and executive committee for the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance and is affiliate faculty at Colorado Christian University, teaching on government budgeting in the school’s Master of Public Administration program.