In 2002, he became the first directly elected President of the City of Wroclaw. In consecutive elections he achieved the second result in Poland – 86% of support. In 2010, he was re-elected for the third term of office.
The author of the book “Nowe horyzonty” (“New Horizons”) which received the Priest Józef Tischner Award granted by the Krakow’s “Znak”. The President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, decorated Rafał Dutkiewicz with the Order of Polonia Restituta (2009) for outstanding merits for the development of the local government, for achievements in his professional and civic work undertaken with benefit for the country. “Man of the Year” (“Człowiek Roku”) of the Lower Silesia Voivodeship according to “Forbes” (2006) monthly. Phenomenon of “Przekrój” 2006 “for successfully attracting investors, refurbishing the image and organizational plans of EXPO, for encouraging young and educated people to return from abroad”. He was granted the diploma from the Minister of Foreign Affairs “For promoting Poland abroad” (2006), the Decoration of the Kingdom of Belgium: the Belgian Officer – the Order of the Crown “For Merits for the Country” (2006) and the Commander Cross of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity (2008). In the Newsweek ranking he was three times selected the best President of the City in Poland (2010, 2011, 2012), and in 2013 he was selected the SuperPresident. The King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden granted him the Royal Order of the Polar Star (2011). Academia Europea, a prestigious scientific organisation gathering around 2500 professors, including 50 Nobel Prize Winners, granted Rafał Dutkiewicz honorary membership (2011). He is decorated with the Legion of Honour – the highest decoration in France granted to outstanding individuals.