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


PRESS RELEASE 04/16/2013
Subject :

Claudia Keith Named as City of Palo Alto's New Chief Communications Officer
Contact : James Keene, City Manager    650-329-2563
Palo Alto, CA – After an extensive search for a new leader of the City of Palo Alto's Communications, City Manager James Keene announced his selection of Claudia Keith as the City of Palo Alto's first Chief Communications Officer (CCO).  The search generated significant interest and a competitive field of candidates. The City Manager's search process included two interview panels involving leaders from City departments and communications staff, and community members experienced in the communication field.  Ms. Keith is scheduled to begin her new duties April 16, 2013, with an annual salary of $175,000.

"We are delighted to have a person with Claudia's experience and credentials join our leadership team," said City Manager James Keene. "We had some great candidates in this recruitment. At the end of the day, it was clear that Claudia's background in public communications in a complex and sensitive arena made her the right fit for us as our organization regenerates itself over the next few years.

"We are committed to open government and transparency and intend to set the standard for communication, collaboration, and civic participation in local government," Keene said. "To ensure this, we must add capacity to be proactive in our efforts and to work across boundaries within our organization and within our community and region. We have some great, dedicated staff working in communications and social networking technology in our City.  The Chief Communications Officer position that the Council approved in the FY 2013 Budget is the missing link in our efforts to be among the very best."

Keith was formerly Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs at the California State University (CSU), the country's largest public four year university system.  She directed the activities of the public affairs office, including media relations, strategic communications planning, issues management and public policy, and was also responsible for the integration of communications with state and federal advocacy efforts.

She began her association with CSU in 2004 as a consultant working on the communications and advocacy rollout of the system's economic impact report.  From 1998 to 2006, she ran her own consulting practice, serving a clientele that included public agencies in the transportation, environmental and educational sectors, as well as a large financial institution.

She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and a master's degree in mass communications from CSU Northridge.

"I am honored and excited to begin in my new role with the city of Palo Alto, which offers a unique blend of engaged citizenry, innovative leadership and entrepreneurial vision, "said Keith.  "I look forward to joining the city's leadership team and working closely with the entire Palo Alto community."