Member Spotlight: Pam Antil

“Managers today are faced with incredible challenges in our communities that require us to change the way we operate and manage,” says Antil.

ARTICLE | Oct 1, 2012

Pam Antil has been an ICMA member since 1998, and was appointed assistant city manager/chief operating officer of  Palo Alto, California, in April 2010. In the operations role, Antil oversees the city’s public safety (police and fire), public works, development center and recreation, parks and cultural services departments. She also serves on the city’s Executive Leadership Team.

Prior to her work in Palo Alto, Antil served as the assistant city manager of Novi, Michigan, as well as the assistant city administrator in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Antil is a Michigan native, but lived and worked in southern California during the early part of her career from 1989 to 1995 when she served as an assistant city manager in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, located in Los Angeles County.

From 1995 to 2004, Antil worked in the private sector as a senior level consulting manager and director for the metropolitan Detroit area office of Grant Thornton LLP, as well as a Los Angeles-based municipal consulting firm. During her work in the private sector, Antil conducted operational due diligence on mergers/acquisitions engagements, executive recruiting, organizational analysis, business operations/improvement, and strategic planning studies for a variety of public and private sector clients.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master of public administration from California State University.

In addition to her ICMA membership and her role as chair of the new Task Force on Women in the Profession, Antil is a member of Cal-ICMA, the Alliance for Innovation, and the Municipal Management Assistants of Northern California. She also serves as a board member for Women Leading Government.

“No matter what part of the country, managers today are faced with incredible social, financial, and infrastructure challenges in our communities that require us to change the way we operate and manage to ensure stability for the future,” says Antil. “What worked in decades past doesn't work today. The biggest challenge I see is finding ways to lead people to open their minds to new, different, and innovative ways to solve problems rather than defaulting to what may have worked in the past and seems safe but won't really move our communities into real sustainability for the future.”

When asked what she values about her ICMA membership, Antil says "My membership in ICMA has provided countless opportunities to learn and grow beyond the technical day-to-day duties of my job. The colleagues and friends I have met through my volunteer work on various ICMA committees, the Knowledge Network, and attendance at the annual conference have helped me achieve so many of my professional goals. I wouldn't be the assistant city manager/COO in Palo Alto today if not for my involvement in ICMA."

What would she say to the city managers of tomorrow? “"The "next generation" and "managers in the middle" are ready to manage and lead cities and counties, but await openings that will occur when the boomers retire. In the meantime, it is important that they use this time as analysts, senior analysts, and other roles to develop the professional relationships through their ICMA membership and involvement that will support them in the future when they land that big job."

In addition to serving as chair of the Task Force on Women in the Profession, Antil has served on a number of ICMA committees and task forces, including the Government Affairs & Public Policy Committee, the Knowledge Network Advisory Board, the Task Force on Financing ICMA, as well as several annual conference planning committees.

Antil was also appointed by ICMA Executive Director Bob O'Neill in 2010 to work on a committee through the U.S. Department of Justice, ICMA, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to research how police departments might best be organized in the future. The resulting white paper, "Police Organization of the Future," written by Antil and two other colleagues was published this year by the Justice Department,

You can connect with her through Facebook and LinkedIn or by e-mail at

Want to add a comment?

Login to your account or Create a free account to leave a comment and get access to more features.



You may also be interested in