We are proud to announce Hillary E. Gitelman’s return to the Bay Area as Palo Alto’s new Director of Planning and Community Environment. She brings with her a wide range of impressive experiences and accomplishments. As Hillary’s first week comes to a close, we celebrate her success and our partnership with this incredible city. Read Palo Alto’s official Press Release below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Subject : Hillary E. Gitelman Named Palo Alto Director of Planning & Community Environment
Contact : Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer 650-329-2607
Palo Alto, CA – City Manager James Keene announced today that he has selected Hillary E. Gitelman to serve as the City’s next Director of Planning and Community Environment, and will bring her appointment to the City Council on September 16 for confirmation. Gitelman currently serves as the Director of Planning, Building and Environmental Services for Napa County. She is expected to begin in her new position on October 28 at a salary of $197,500. The selection was made following a national search and recruitment process that included extensive input from community and business stakeholders as well as two interview panels with broad representation from the community.
“Hillary was our top candidate and we are fortunate to have someone with her breadth of experience join the City in this critical leadership position as we address the very complex planning and development issues facing us today and in the future,” said City Manager James Keene. “The role of Director of Planning is central to the future of our city. This is an especially important point in time for Palo Alto. The Director position requires a person with the drive to make necessary changes in our plans and policies and to meet the demands of our community, and do so with diplomacy, and a commitment to inclusiveness and open government. Hillary brings all of these qualities to her new role and will be a tremendous asset to Palo Alto.”
For the past eight years, Gitelman has directed Napa County’s Department of Planning, Building and Environmental Services where she leads a staff of 70 and is responsible for current and long-range planning, engineering and conservation, parks, environmental health, building permits and code enforcement. From 2001 to 2004, she directed the planning department of the Presidio Trust, a federal agency established to preserve the Presidio of San Francisco for public use while making the park financially self-sufficient. As part of this role, she was responsible for developing the award-winning Presidio Trust Management Plan, as well as the PresidiGo shuttle system, and parking management program, among others.
Gitelman also served as the Environmental Review Officer for the San Francisco Planning Department, where she was responsible for the City and County’s compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and related laws. During her decade-long tenure with the City and County of San Francisco, she conducted major environmental reviews for PacBell (now AT&T) Park, the Mission Bay Redevelopment Project, the Mid-Embarcadero Roadway, the Third Street Light Rail Project, and many other private and public projects.
Previously, she held increasingly senior positions in planning and historic preservation, and is affiliated with the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association; the Association of Environmental Professionals; the American Planning Association and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Gitelman holds a bachelor’s degree in the history of art from Yale and a master’s degree in historic preservation from Columbia University, School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity, and look forward to working with the staff and citizens of Palo Alto on a wide variety of planning and transportation issues,” said Gitelman.