Executive Staff

James Mueller, Chief of Staff

James Mueller serves as Mayor Buttigieg’s chief of staff. In this role, James advances the Mayor’s vision for the future and works to make the city more innovative, equitable, and sustainable. He also serves on several boards including the Board of Public Works.

Born and raised in South Bend, James is a 2000 graduate of Saint Joseph’s High School. He went on to study mathematics, history, and philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he received his bachelor degrees in 2004. After college, he studied ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware where he received his doctorate for his work to improve weather, severe storm, and climate models.

Before joining the Mayor’s office, James promoted pragmatic public policies and affordable energy solutions at the George Washington University’s Solar Institute in Washington, DC. He also served in the office of US Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), for nearly four years, first as a John A. Knauss Legislative Fellow and then as a policy advisor on energy and natural resources.

Suzanna Fritzberg, Deputy Chief of Staff

Suzanna Fritzberg serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor. She received her B.A. from Yale University with research in gender studies and political science, and holds Master of Science degrees from the University of Oxford in social policy and political theory. Suzanna’s work experience includes time as an Economic Policy Researcher for the Roosevelt Institute Think Tank, and Fellowship Director for the Students for a New American Politics PAC.


Cherri Peate, Director of Community Outreach

Cherri Peate serves as Director of Community Outreach. A South Bend native and Washington High School graduate, Cherri is committed to serve the community--a passion that spans over 15 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis in sociology; a Certificate of Completion in community and voluntary services at All Hallows College in Dublin, Ireland; and a Master of Science in public service management from DePaul University in Chicago. It was at DePaul University that she was welcomed as a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Cherri is a board member at IU South Bend’s Center for a Sustainable Future, a member of the Young Professionals Against Poverty at the Center for Homeless, a member of the St. Joseph County African-American Democratic Coalition, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Matthew Cruz, Executive Assistant & Director of Special Projects

Matthew Cruz serves as Executive Assistant and Director of Special Projects. After graduating from Indiana University with a major in political science, he served as an intern in the City Clerk’s office in Bloomington, Indiana before joining Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s re-election campaign. Most recently Matt worked as a Deputy Finance Director on an Indiana congressional campaign.  A lifelong Hoosier, Matt was born and raised in Crown Point, Indiana before moving to Bloomington and South Bend.

Shalon "Shay" Davis, Administrative Assistant

Shalon Davis has served the city of South Bend since 1998, beginning as licensing secretary for the Building Department under the leadership of Don Fozo. Shalon also worked for former Mayor Stephen Luecke.

A native of South Bend and a graduate of John Adams High School, Shalon plays a vital role in resolving an array of resident concerns and managing the day to day operations of the office. Shalon also coordinates a variety of special events for the Mayor’s Office and serves as the city's United Way Coordinator.

Shalon is a citizen member of the Community Relations Committee for the Common Council, a member of the Board of Directors for Michiana Crime Stoppers and a board member of Mamas Against Violence.  She also volunteers her time and services to diverse organizations throughout the city.