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2410 Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation

Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation

Palm Springs, CA, USA

Palm Springs, CA, USA

City of Palm Springs

Greg Nelson and Bryan Noblett


Lead Recruiter

Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation

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Here is a unique leadership opportunity to be a part of a collaborative team supporting the community and planning parks, programs, and public places in stunning Palm Springs, California. Known worldwide for its spectacular leisure and recreation, the City of Palm Springs is seeking its next Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation to further the delivery of exemplary services for both residents who call the city home and year-round visitors who enjoy the extraordinary destination’s world-class amenities.


Nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, the City of Palm Springs is known for its crystal-blue skies, year-round sunshine, stunning landscape, and starry nights. Palm Springs’ rich history and gorgeous weather, enjoying 350 days of sunshine per year, make it an ideal place to live and a preferred destination for travelers from all over the world. The City maintains the charm of a small town while offering the amenities of an urban center. Palm Springs lies on the western edge of the Coachella Valley approximately 107 miles east of Los Angeles. The permanent population is approximately 50,000 and has as many as 2 million visitors annually. Palm Springs is also host to many parades, festivals, and the famed Palm Springs International Film Festival and Modernism Week. Residents of Palm Springs find that the City is an ideal community to call home.


The Parks & Recreation Department, led by a Director and one Assistant Director consists of 6 divisions: Administration, Aquatics, Special Events and Park Permitting, Youth Programs, and two Recreation Center Divisions. The department is responsible for a broad portfolio including 11 parks, 6 facilities, including a Skate Park and Swim Center, two Golf Courses, hiking trails, and supports year-round special events such as the weekly VillageFest street market, the annual Festival of Lights Parade and Veterans Day Parade. The department is poised to provide its services with a FY25 operating budget of $15.9 million and 43 FTE employees, plus 30 seasonal employees.


The Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation is an executive, at-will position that reports to the Director of Parks & Recreation. The Assistant Director will supervise staff and work closely and strategically with the Director supporting diverse public-facing projects and programs to advance the mission of the highly regarded Department of Parks & Recreation. The Assistant Director shall have the professional poise to act as the Director in their absence and exercise a high-level of political acumen. Key responsibilities include preparation of reports and presentations detailing public placemaking strategies and objectives to build strong communities through people, parks, and programs; comprehensive park and public space planning; project management of capital improvement projects in parks and recreational facilities; and annual department budgeting and financial reporting.

The ideal candidate will be a dynamic and creative service-oriented leader that has high-level managerial or executive experience in the public sector; a proven track record of successfully delivering projects in public spaces; is a skilled communicator, able to deliver polished written products and visual presentations; and has a foundational understanding of municipal ordinances, codes, processes, and systems.


Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in public administration, planning, land use, parks, or other related field. A Master’s degree in a related field is preferred.

  • Experience: Five years of increasingly responsible experience in public administration, parks, recreation, public policy, urban planning, business, land use management, public art, or a closely related field, including two years of progressively responsible management-level experience is required; preferably with a public agency.


The hiring range for the Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation is up to $143,916 dependent on qualifications. In addition, an excellent executive benefit package is provided including retirement through CalPERS. Classic CalPERS members are eligible for the 2% @ 60 formula with an employee contribution of 7%, while PEPRA members are eligible for the 2% @ 62 formula with an employee contribution of 8.75%.

In addition, employees work four 10-hour days, working Monday-Thursday and must be willing and able to work various hours that may include early mornings, evenings, Fridays, weekends, and holidays.

Additional benefit information can be found in the recruitment brochure.


To be considered for this position, interested candidates must submit a cover letter and résumé below. Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately, as this recruitment will close once a sufficiently strong pool of stellar candidates has been established.

Confidential inquiries are welcomed to:

Greg Nelson | | (916) 550-4100

Bryan Noblett | | (916) 550-4100

The City of Palm Springs is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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