David White to be Santa Monica’s next City Manager starting in October
By Sam Catanzaro
Santa Monica City Council has selected David White, Berkeley’s Deputy City Manager, to run the City of Santa Monica’s government.
“I am excited and humbled to serve the City of Santa Monica as its City Manager,” White said. “Santa Monica is a wonderful community and I am eager to engage and work closely with the City Council, staff, residents, and businesses implementing City Council’s top priorities — achieving a clean and safe Santa Monica, addressing homelessness, and ensuring an equitable and inclusive economic recovery.”
After a closed-door meeting Thursday, Santa Monica City Council announced their selection of David White to serve as Santa Monica’s next City Manager. White is currently the Deputy City Manager for the City of Berkeley. Before coming to Berkeley in 2019, he served as City Manager in Fairfield, California for five years. As City Manager, White will oversee a total City budget of $705.5 million and a workforce of 1,923.
“David has a keen understanding of the central issues our like-minded cities face and has demonstrated that he has the experience and spirit of can-do inclusion we need to lead Santa Monica at this critical time,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “We are thrilled to have found a candidate so aligned with our community’s values and impatiently await his arrival so we may begin our collective work.”
White’s employment contract, including an October 11 start date and salary, will be considered at the next City Council meeting on July 27.
In a press release, officials touted White’s work “reimagining public safety, including a new model of civilian oversight of Berkeley’s Police Department. With an extensive background in finance both as an investment banker and as Fairfield’s finance director, White is well-suited to see Santa Monica through our economic recovery.”
White, a native Los Angeleno, grew up in Studio City and graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology. He holds a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
White will be Santa Monica’s first permanent City Manager since the resignation of Rick Cole in April 2020 amid sweeping budget cuts and his handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Former City Attorney Lane Dilg then took over as Interim City Manager until last month when she moved to D.C. Since then John Jalili, who served as City Manager from 1984-1999, has been in the position on an interim basis.