News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 06/26/2008
Subject :

New City Manager of Palo Alto Named
Contact : Larry Klein, Mayor of Palo Alto    650-843-2702
Palo Alto, CA – Larry Klein, Mayor of Palo Alto, announced today that the City intends to hire James Keene as its new City Manager. Since 2007, Mr. Keene has been Director of Strategic Issues and ICMA West (International City and County Management Association) and President of the Alliance for Innovation in Berkeley, California, and Phoenix, Arizona. Assuming formal confirmation by the City Council, Mr. Keene will receive a base salary of $240,000 and assume his new duties on September 2, 2008.  

"Jim is a seasoned and innovative leader who has experience working with an actively engaged citizenry, advancing sustainability efforts, managing growth and economic vitality, and negotiating with a major university," said Mayor Klein. "His experience in these and other areas closely matches the community’s challenging goals for the new City Manager." 

Mr. Keene has almost 30 years of experience in local city government. From 2005-07, he served as the Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), an organization representing California’s 58 counties. He served as City Manager of Tucson, Arizona (a fast growing city of 530,000 and home to the University of Arizona) from 2000-2005. From 1996-2000, Mr. Keene served as City Manager of Berkeley, California. In addition to serving as City Manager in two cities, Mr. Keene has also been a County Manager in Coconino County, Arizona, which includes Flagstaff, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon; and Deputy County Administrator in Loudoun County, Virginia, a fast growing Washington D.C. suburb.  

Mr. Keene has a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration; a Board Member of the Institute for Local Government (Sacramento); and a member of the Board of Visitors for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

"My wife Iris and I are extremely excited about coming to Palo Alto. This is a special community, renowned for its educated public, environmental achievements, vibrant business districts, active neighborhood groups, and unique cultural and intellectual assets," said Mr. Keene. "I look forward to serving the Council and community and working with the city staff to enhance the quality of life and the environment in Palo Alto."

Mr. Keene has two grown children. His daughter Jamie is a writer who lives in Oakland. His son Josh lives in Tucson.