Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. vice president Debbie Lee will leave her post of seven years to lead the City of Santa Monica’s Public Information and Communications Team.
Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould made the announcement, adding Lee will take on the duties of Deputy City Manager Kate Vernez, who is retiring this summer.
Gould said Lee has more than 15 years of experience working with partner organizations in Santa Monica.
“She is known for her communication, facilitation and interpersonal skills,” Gould said. “She will add value on day one, and like Kate Vernez, she works well with all in our community.”
Lee said Santa Monica is a dynamic and beloved city, and its people that make this place great.
“I’ve been fortunate to spend the majority of my career in Santa Monica and I look forward to keeping the community engaged and informed on the efforts of the City of Santa Monica,” Lee said.
Lee has served as Vice President of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. for the past seven years overseeing marketing, special programs, and community involvement.
Her responsibilities included website management, social media, public relations, community relations, and government relations. She worked frequently with community organizations, the Santa Monica business community, elected officials and the press.
During her time with the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lee served as Vice President of Business Development, responsible for brand awareness, development of marketing materials, media relations, community relations and website management.
In the newly created position of Communications and Public Affairs Officer, Lee will receive a salary of $155,784. She will manage a yearly budget of approximately $2.2 million and oversee Public Information, Community Relations and CityTV. Lee will start in the position on July 7, 2014.
The City had previously released a hiring announcement for the position of Communications and Public Affairs Officer, which was rescinded.