Deputy City Manager Takes the Helm to Lead City’s Transportation Initiatives
By Dolores Quintana
City Manager David White has announced that Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta will assume the role of interim director of the Santa Monica Department of Transportation (SaMo DOT) starting August 10, 2023. This transition follows the impending retirement of current DOT Director Ed King, scheduled for August 9, 2023. As interim director, Gupta will oversee a team of 472 employees and manage a budget of $110 million.
White expressed confidence in Gupta’s ability to excel in this role, citing his demonstrated leadership within the organization. “Anuj’s exceptional experience in policy and legislative affairs, including his successful advocacy for transportation and mobility-related legislation and funding, will be a valuable asset to the department as the City continues its innovative work in transportation and mobility,” said White.
With 15 years of experience as a public servant at both the local and federal levels, Gupta has served as the City’s deputy city manager for the past six years. In this capacity, he has led the City’s legislative and intergovernmental advocacy and partnerships work while overseeing the City’s communications team. Gupta has been instrumental in engaging and informing the community during recent challenges and crises. He has spearheaded complex interdepartmental policy projects, including the development of the City’s pioneering framework for shared mobility.
Additionally, Gupta has played a crucial leadership role in the City’s economic recovery, homelessness, and business engagement initiatives. Prior to joining the City, he worked for the Mayor of Los Angeles, the U.S. Department of Justice, and President Obama’s White House.
Expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to lead the DOT during this transitional period, Gupta said, “Our extraordinary professionals are committed to planning, maintaining, and operating an accessible, safe, integrated transportation network that advances a more sustainable and equitable future. I am thrilled to join the team and contribute to their mission.”
With his family, Gupta, who resides in Santa Monica, embraces a personal passion for transportation. He enjoys exploring the city with his young children on the Big Blue Bus and making use of the renowned network of bike lanes. In the coming months, a nationwide recruitment process will commence to identify a permanent director for the Department of Transportation.