Dr Sutcliffe is the former eThekwini Municipal City Manager, a post he held from 2001-2011. His leadership earned the Municipality and the Municipal Demarcation Board several major local, national and international awards and at the time eThekwini was considered as one of the best-run municipalities in South Africa and Africa. He also spearheaded the transformation of the city of Durban in preparation of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
Dr Sutcliffe matriculated from Kingsway High School and holds a BSc majoring in Geography and Psychology, BSc Honours and MSc in Geography from the former University of Natal and a PhD in Geography from Ohio State University.
He is the recipient of the Hunting Memorial Award from Ohio State University, Institute for Local Government Management Award for service excellence and leadership in transformation, Golden Peacock Award from the Indian Academy of South Africa for leadership in Public Affairs and dynamic progress at eThekwini Municipality, Computer Society of SA’s (KZN) IT Person of the Year Award, Anderson Medal for Applied Geography and the Gilbert F White Distinguished Public Service Honours Award from the Association of American Geographers.
His work experience includes postgraduate and undergraduate mentorship, research, institutional supportand academic management, infrastructural and spatial planning, urban geography, city management, urban and regional planning and modelling, development and design, settlement organisation, project management, public and financial administration. Dr Sutcliffe has been an active member of the KZN Legislature where he held the following posts: Member of Provincial Legislature, Chairperson of the Local Government Portfolio Committee, member of the Portfolio Committee for Finance, Constitution, Public Accounts, Economic Affairs. and Tourism, Housing and was an alternate member of the National Council of Provinces.
He was actively involved in the liberation struggle and served on several civic movements including the United Democratic Front and ANC. In 1999 he resigned as ANC Provincial Executive Committee member and was appointed by former President Nelson Mandela to the Municipal Demarcation Board where he was later appointed as Chairperson and Member of the Executive Committee and Board.
For his expertise, he has been commissioned as a consultant on several international, national and local projects. He is a visiting lecturer and examiner at six universities nationally and eight internationally. He is widely published with more than 300 articles in international journals and has presented at over 250 conferences. Through his political, research, business and social development engagements he has belonged to 15 professional societies and research associations and has worked for and served on the management structures of 19 organisations.