City Manager Selects Dr. Monique Ziesenhenne as Assistant City Manager
October 24, 2019 —City Manager Ed Shikada today announced today the selection of Dr. Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne as Palo Alto’s new assistant city manager. This selection follows a competitive recruitment process and is subject to confirmation by the Palo Alto City Council on November 4. Ziesenhenne has served as the City’s interim assistant city manager over the last six months and served as the City’s library director over the last eight years.
“I am thrilled to announce this selection and look forward to working with Monique to ensure the effectiveness of the City’s services for the Palo Alto community,” said Shikada. “Monique is an extraordinary manager, and her unique experience with lifelong learning and community enrichment programs are directly aligned with Palo Alto community values. This advanced her as a top candidate in our competitive search process.”
The City’s assistant city manager provides executive level support and assistance to City departments and may act on behalf of the city manager as needed at City Council meetings, as well as represent the City organization with members of the public.The assistant city manager also leads citywide interdepartmental operations and will further enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of city services. The position of assistant city manager became vacant in December 2018 when Shikada was selected as city manager.
“I’m very excited to continue working with Ed and the other department heads to improve City services to the community and the past eight years as library director have been wonderful. We’ve achieved a lot together and have much to be proud of,” said Dr. Monique Ziesenhenne. “I look forward to continuing to support the City in my new role and am confident we can continue to advance the City Council’s priorities and deliver exceptional City services to our community every day.”
Ziesenhenne has held several executive leadership roles over her thirty-year career in local government. Ziesenhenne was the City Palo Alto’s library director since May 2011 and was named Interim assistant city manager in May 2019. In addition, Ziesenhenne also served as the director of community services in 2018. Ziesenhenne led library and cultural services for the City of Richmond for six years, where her responsibilities included supervising the Arts and Culture and Recreation Departments. Before her tenure in Richmond, Ziesenhenne held several executive library services roles in Benicia and Solano County and served as a consultant supporting local libraries throughout California.
Ziesenhenne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Design from University of California, Davis, a Master of Library and Information Studies from University of California Berkeley C, and a PhD in Managerial Leadership in Information Professions, from Simmons University in Boston. Ziesenhenne is an adjunct faculty at San Jose State University School of Library and Information Studies, a mentor for the Eureka! Library Leadership Institute and is a chief executive fellow for National Arts Strategies. Ziesenhenne participates in the American Library Association, having served on the Committee on Research and Statistics, the Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content, the Caldecott and Batchelder Medal Committees, chairing Public Library Association committees, serving on the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Board, and as a YALSA Serving the Underserved Trainer. She has served as president for BayNet, the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California, the California Library Association, and the Public Library Association.
Ziesenhenne lives in Richmond, California, with her husband, John, and has three adult children.
The City Manager will present his appointment of Ziesenhenne at the City Council meeting on Monday, November 4, 2019. Subject to Council approval of this appointment, a national recruitment to fill the library director position will begin by the end of the calendar year. In the interim, Gayathri Kanth, the City’s current assistant library director, will be acting library director.
Palo Alto is a full-service Charter City with a council-manager form of government. The seven-member City Council is elected at-large and appoint the City Manager who is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the City government. The City has fourteen departments and employs 1,041 full-time staff.
Last Updated: October 11, 2019