City Manager James Keene announced today that he has selected Rob de Geus to serve as the City's next Director of Community Services, and will bring his appointment to the City Council on Feb. 9 for confirmation. He is a senior manager within Palo Alto's Community Services Department and is currently serving as the Acting Director. The selection was made following a national search and recruitment process that included extensive input from the community.
"Rob is the right person at the right time to lead Community Services in the City of Palo Alto," said City Manager James Keene. "A community panel made up of Parks and Recreation commissioners, neighborhood representatives, and the executive leadership team of department heads all agreed that Rob was the top candidate. He is well respected and valued in our community and will continue to build on the strong relationships and programs that he has developed since he joined Palo Alto."
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, de Geus has always had a passion for parks, recreation and the arts. He joined the City of Palo Alto in 2000 as a Recreation Coordinator, and over the past 15 years has held positions of increasing responsibilities within the Community Services Department. He served as an Assistant Director of the Parks and Recreation division prior to being named as Acting Director following the retirement of department head Greg Betts. In that time de Geus has managed many functional areas of the department including Parks and Recreation programs, Special Events, Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, Municipal Golf Course, Community Centers, Aquatics and Youth and Teen programs, among other services.
Areas of focus and passion for de Geus include community health and wellbeing, accessibility, innovative public private partnerships and public service. A valued liaison to numerous Palo Alto boards, commissions and interest groups including the Parks and Recreation Commission, Palo Alto Recreation Foundation, and Golf Advisory Board, de Geus has been a key member of the collaborative work of Project Safety Net, and also serves as a board member of the Palo Alto Family YMCA.
"Palo Alto is an exceptional city and it is an honor and privilege to service the residents and community," said de Geus. “I look forward to working with citizens and staff on a wide variety of programs, services and park projects to continue improving the quality of life in Palo Alto.”
He holds a bachelor's degree in Business and master’s degree in Public Administration from San Jose State University. His salary will be $185,000.