People Strategy & Operations


The mission of the People Strategy and Operations Department is to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse, well-qualified and professional workforce that reflects the high standards of the community we serve, and to lead City Departments in positive employee relations, talent management, succession planning and employee engagement.

The department is led by our Chief People Officer, Kathy Shen. Shen began her service with the City of Palo Alto in 2012 and holds a JD/MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She brings 10 years of legal experience and 23 years of human resources experience in manufacturing and health care to the organization. Shen is supported by a team of dedicated and experienced professionals. She can be reached at 650.329.2124 or at

This team is structured in a Business Partner model where a Manager, Sr. Human Resources Administrator, Representative and/or Assistant are grouped in 6 teams supporting the following departments: (1) Public Works, Planning & Community Environment and Development Services, (2) Utilities and Information Technology, (3) Community Services and Library, (4) Administrative Services, (5) Police, Fire and Office of Emergency Services and, (6) City Manager’s Office, City Auditor’s Office, City Clerk’s Office, and City Auditor’s Office.

The team also provides a wide range of services to City staff through the following areas:

Total Compensation which administers salaries, health care, pension and other benefits.
Employee and Labor Relations which provides guidance to managers and employees to enhance performance, create a positive work environment, and effective problem-solving of complaints and grievances as well as facilitates labor contract negotiations.
Organization and Employee Development which identifies and implements training and employee development opportunities to support employee skill enhancement, innovation and leadership.
Talent Management which recruits, selects and onboards employees who have a passion for public service, excellent skills and the ability to take on increasingly complex roles in their City career.
Risk Management, Safety and Workers Compensation which supports workplace safety and actively manages risk, reduces injuries and other potential liabilities.

The People Strategy and Operations team is here to help you whether you are an existing team member or interested in pursuing a career with the City of Palo Alto. If you have any questions, please contact us at the information below. Additionally, please visit our other webpages through the links to the left and below.

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Contact Information:
City of Palo Alto
People Strategy & Operations Department
250 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
650.329.2696 (fax)

If you require special accommodations please contact us at 650.329.2376
Last Updated: Mar 3, 2014
Summer Internship Opportunities
Each spring, the City offers summer internship opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students as part of their ongoing education program.

Jobs at the City of Palo Alto

Are you interested in joining us in our mission to serve Palo Alto?
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