Mayor Carolyn Goodman
Mayor, City of Las Vegas
Carolyn G. Goodman became the mayor of the city of Las Vegas on July 6, 2011. Her husband of more than a half century and 12-year, term-limited mayor, Oscar B. Goodman, administered the oath of office. It is the only known instance of a spouse succeeding a spouse as mayor in the United States. In 2015, Mayor Goodman was handily re-elected to another four-year term. In 2019 she was elected to a third term, garnering more than 80 percent of the vote.
Carolyn is well known in the Las Vegas community for founding The Meadows School in 1984, Nevada’s first nonprofit, college preparatory school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grades. Carolyn planned and oversaw the entire day-to-day operations for 26 years orchestrating and creating the curricular development; overseeing the budget; hiring administration, faculty and staff; and managing the entire physical plant and fundraising endeavours for the organization. During this time, Carolyn never had ownership of the school as it was incorporated as a 501[c] entity. Furthermore, during her 26 years in leadership, Carolyn never took a salary. She retired in June 2010.
Carolyn and her husband moved to Las Vegas from Philadelphia in 1964 as relative newlyweds arriving in August with only $87 between them. Initially, Oscar (a member of the Pennsylvania Bar) worked for the District Attorney’s office while Carolyn began work in the hotel industry. Prior to that, she worked as a vocational counselor in West Las Vegas for the Department of Labor training and building employment opportunities for African Americans in a then-segregated city. While her husband travelled the country (establishing what became an outstanding criminal law career winning high-profile cases), Carolyn raised their four infant children while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in counselling at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Born and raised in New York City, Carolyn attended and graduated from Bryn Mawr College where she served as Student Government President and earned a degree in Sociology and Anthropology.