Mayor Roy D. Buol


Roy D. Buol is the longest-serving mayor in Dubuque's history.  He was first elected to a four-year term as mayor in November 2005 and was re-elected in 2009, 2013, and again in 2017. Before being elected mayor, he served 10 years as the Second Ward Representative to the City Council.

He resides at 2640 Becker Court and can be reached at or 563-690-6502. 


Mayor Buol is a Dubuque native and a 30-year retired employee of John Deere Dubuque Works. He retired again in 2019 after serving as the Director of the Landscaping & Grounds Department at the University of Dubuque since 2002. Mayor Buol holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a double major in business and marketing from the University of Dubuque, where he also completed graduate coursework toward a Master of Arts in Communication.  Mayor Buol and his wife, Deborah, are parents of four children and grandparents of 10.

Council Activities

During his mayoral campaign in 2005, Mayor Buol’s platform was based on “engaging citizens as partners,” and what he heard from thousands of citizens was a consistent theme surrounding water quality, recycling, green space, public transit, cultural vitality, accessibility, and downtown revitalization.  In 2006, during the first City Council goal-setting session following his election, Mayor Buol proposed and received the full support of his council colleagues to focus on sustainability as a City top priority, stating “cities that get out in front on sustainability will have competitive economic advantages in the future.”  Sustainability has been a top priority every year since his election. This leadership paved the way for the creation of Sustainable Dubuque, a citizen-engaged process to define sustainability for our community and create a national model for cities under 200,000 in population.  In 2009, Mayor Buol was instrumental in the launch of “Smarter Sustainable Dubuque,” a unique public/private partnership between the City of Dubuque and IBM Research, the division of IBM responsible for its “Smarter Planet” campaign. The project was initiated in September 2009 when the City of Dubuque and IBM announced their intentions to make Dubuque one of the first “smarter” sustainable cities in the U.S.  

Mayor Buol is past co-chair and past treasurer of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI) and represents Dubuque on the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and the Iowa League of Cities.  He is also a member of the University of Iowa’s REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes) Advisory Board.

Roy D. Buol
Mayor Buol serves as the City’s spokesperson in multiple venues locally, nationally, and internationally.  He has served as a panelist or keynote speaker at the following:
  • Renewable Energy panelist at the Alliance for a Sustainable Future Meeting, US Conference of Mayors Annual Conference, Miami Beach, FL (June 2017)
  • “Infrastructure Investment Breakfast” panelist and featured mayor at the 2017 Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) 2017 Capitol Meeting, Washington, DC (March 2017)
  • IGNITE presenter at the 2016 National League of Cities City Summit, Pittsburgh, PA (November 2016)
  • Presenter at the U.S.-China Climate Leaders’ Summit, Beijing, China (June 2016)
  • “Building Resilience for the Extremes” panelist at the first White House Water Summit, Washington, DC (March 2016)
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), Paris, France (December 2015)
  • “Developing Vibrant Communities for the New Economy: How to Attract, Build and Service the Business of Tomorrow,” New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Kansas City, MO (February 2013)
  • “Knocking Down Silos: Taking Leadership in Integrating Government Functions and Strengthening Collaboration to Build a Smarter City,” Smart Cities Canada, Toronto (January 2013)
  • “Importance of Water to the United States Economy Symposium,” sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC (December 2012)
  • “Elected Officials and City Managers—A Vital Partnership,” Texas Municipal League Annual Conference & Exhibition (November 2012)
  • World Cities Summit, Singapore  (July 2012)
  • National League of Cities International Sustainability Exchange to Germany & Sweden (April 2012)
  • Global Smart City Summit, Taiwan (December 2011)
  • “Eco-Engineering: Building Sustainable Cities,” sponsored by Hitachi, organized by the Brookings Institution and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC (October 2011)
  • “Building a Smarter City Through Leadership and Information,” U.S. Conference of Mayors 79th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD (June 2011)
  • IBM “Data in Our Lives” Event, Yorktown Heights, NY (May 2011)
  • “The Digital City: Mayors’ Technology Summit,” Temple University Fox School of Business, Philadelphia, MD (October 2010)
  • “IBM Smarter Cities: Smarter Dubuque,” National League of Cities TV (August 2010)
  • IBM Dynamic Infrastructure Executive Summit, Scottsdale, AZ (April 2010)
  • “City-Sponsored Energy Districts: Financing Efficiency, Reducing Greenhouse Gases,” New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Albuquerque, NM (January 2009)
Since Mayor Buol was elected mayor, Dubuque has been named: 
  • an All-America City five times in 12 years by the National Civic League (2007, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019),
  • recipient of a 2017 Outstanding Achievement Livability Award by the U.S. Conference of Mayors,
  • recipient of the National League of Cities' first place award in the 2016 NLC City Cultural Diversity Awards for the City’s support of the Inclusive Dubuque initiative,
  • achieved 4-STAR Community certification under the national STAR Community Rating System (STAR) in April 2015, 
  • a recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in corridor or neighborhood revitalization for efforts in the Historic Millwork District and Washington Neighborhood,
  • 5th in the U.S. in Site Selection magazine’s 2013 “Top Metropolitan Areas” for metros under 200,000 pop.,
  • one of Kiplinger Personal Finance's “10 Great Places to Live” for 2013,
  • the 2010 “Best Small City to Raise a Family” by Forbes
  • one of the seven “Most-Connected Locales” in the U.S. in 2010 by Connected World,
  • one of the “10 Smartest Cities on the Planet” by Fast Company in 2010,
  • a 3rd place finalist and Gold-Standard Community at the 2010 International Awards for Livable Communities, and
  • the “Most Livable Small City” by the U.S. Conference of Mayors for 2008 and 2017.

Community Involvement

During his tenure as a member of the City Council since 1996, Mayor Buol has served on the City’s Long-Range Planning Advisory Commission; the Community-Based Task Force on Gangs, Drugs and Youth Violence; the Dubuque Racing Association Board; the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; the Dubuque Initiatives Board; Every Child Every Promise Board; Safe Community Task Force; the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation (GDDC) Board and Executive Committee and chairperson of GDDC’s River Valley Initiative Foundation; chairperson of the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Transportation Study Committee; chairperson of the City Conference Board, and chairperson of Dubuque’s 175th Anniversary Planning Committee.

Mayor Buol’s community involvement includes serving as guest host for non-profit fundraisers and speaking to elementary, high school and college classes about the role and function of city government in creating a viable, livable, equitable community for citizens.   He is a member of the Loyal Order of Moose #355, Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Dubuque County Historical Society, the Dubuque Museum of Art, and is a long-time supporter of the Grand Opera House and Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.