Community Services Director Rob de Geus has been named as a Deputy City Manager for Palo Alto, today announced City Manager Jim Keene. De Geus has held increasingly responsible positions within Community Services for the past 17 years, and will transition into his new position over the summer.
"Rob's broad experience with Palo Alto and his ability to work and connect with the community will be key to his success in this role," said Keene. “As a Deputy City Manager, Rob will need to bring people together to build coalitions, engage with the community and provide leadership on complex and strategic initiatives. His already established relationships both with his colleagues, as well as with many community organizations are an asset that will provide a solid foundation to build his role for the future.”
As Deputy City Manager, de Geus will be responsible for a wide variety of projects and strategic initiatives that support City Council priorities and the city’s annual work plan.
De Geus joined the City in 2000 as a Recreation Coordinator in the Recreation and Sciences Division of Community Services, and has served in a number of leadership positions within the department including as Superintendent of Recreation, Division Manager, Recreation, Junior Museum and Zoo, Golf Services as well as Assistant Director for CSD.
“I look forward to continuing to contribute in meaningful ways to the City that result in residents’ increased confidence and support for our evolving community identity, sense of place and culture of innovation,” said de Geus. “I am grateful for the opportunity to help advance our organizational excellence and continue our focus on civic engagement.”
De Geus has been the director of CSD since 2014 where he is responsible for five divisions including Arts & Science, Open Space and Parks, Recreation and Golf, Human Services and Administration. He manages the department with 80 employees and one of the largest department budgets in the city. Among his accomplishments during his tenure in Palo Alto has been numerous park renovations, the redesign and construction of the new Golf Course (to be opened in October), and the Mitchell Park Community Center. De Geus has also been instrumental in the leadership of Project Safety Net, a community youth well-being and suicide prevention coalition with 26 organizations.
Originally from Australia, de Geus holds a bachelors degree in Business Management and a masters in Public Administration, both from San Jose State.
This is one of two Deputy City Manager appointments to be made within the City Manager’s office, with the second position expected to be named within the next month.