City of Pensacola Mayor-Elect D.C. Reeves has named Capt. Tim “Lucky” Kinsella, USN, (Ret.) as the chairman for his mayoral transition team.
“Captain Kinsella has always been at the top of my list for transition leadership, and I’m fortunate he’s willing to give his time and energy to serve the City of Pensacola,” Reeves said. “His impeccable reputation, his immense experience and his insight as a world-class leader will be such a benefit to this transition team’s work and my preparation to lead our community.”
Kinsella, the director of the Center for Leadership in the University of West Florida College of Business, is a decorated veteran with 33 years of service in the U.S. Navy. His final active-duty assignment was as commanding officer of NAS Pensacola. Kinsella led the installation through a devastating terrorist attack that claimed three lives and wounded nine others, Hurricane Sally that caused more than $500 million in damages, and maintaining the installation’s operational viability through a global pandemic. Despite these challenges, under his leadership NAS Pensacola was awarded the Navy’s Installation Excellence Award as the top large installation across the entire service.
Kinsella’s leadership background includes numerous operational deployments to the Middle East, Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Western Pacific, including as commanding officer of a carrier-based helicopter squadron. His duties ashore included service as White House liaison to the secretary of the Navy, flag aide to the deputy chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare, as a division chief in the Joint Operations Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, and as a defense planner for NATO at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Mons, Belgium. During his time with NATO, he was responsible for negotiating with member nations on their contributions to the alliance.
Tim enlisted in the Navy in 1989 and served on submarines for several years before being accepted to the Naval Academy. He subsequently graduated from the Academy in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, and went on to become a naval aviator, flying helicopters and specializing in combat search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare. He earned a Master of Science in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego in 2003.
Over his career he has received numerous awards, including the Daedalian Award for Distinguished Airmanship, the Naval Helicopter Association Aircrew of the Year Award, the Navy League of the United States John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership, the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge George Washington Honor Medal for Public Communications and the Director of the FBI’s Community Leadership Award.
“When Mayor-Elect Reeves asked me to lead his transition team, my immediate answer was yes. The people of this great city showed overwhelming kindness when they wrapped their arms around the military community in our time of greatest need, and I hope to repay some of that kindness as I work with the mayor-elect to ensure a seamless transition in our city leadership. I see this role as both a privilege and a profound responsibility to serve the citizens of the City of Pensacola in a transparent and meaningful way, and I am looking forward to starting our work as soon as possible.”
While a list that will include the principal members of Kinsella’s team, its committee members, and the timeline will be announced in the coming days, Reeves said his priority on public safety, affordable housing and economic development will be directly reflected in the team make-up.
Looking to take advantage of more than two months before taking office, Reeves has already started to collaborate with current Mayor Grover Robinson and city administration to ensure the city is best positioned when Reeves takes office in November. Reeves, a Pensacola native, was elected on August 23, winning the primary with 51.1 percent of the vote to become the city’s youngest mayor (38) in 101 years.
While this will be the first political office Reeves has held, he has previous City of Pensacola transition team experience. Reeves was the lead staff for Pensacola’s 2019 Transition Team which produced a 95-page report for current Mayor Grover Robinson under transition team chairman Quint Studer.