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James Keene


James Keene has been city manager of Palo Alto, Calif., since 2008. Previously he served as city manager of Berkeley, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz., and as a county manager in Arizona. He is a former executive director of the California State Association of Counties; served as director of strategic issues and ICMA West for the International City/County Management Association; and is a former president of the Alliance for Innovation.

Keene, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, teaches in executive programs at Stanford University and the University of Virginia and is a frequent speaker at conferences and in other forums. He received his master's degree in urban studies from the University of Maryland.

Jefferson's and Hamilton's conflicting ideas are baked into our civic DNA. We need to embrace both of them.