East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert E. Doyle has announced the selection of Jim O’Connor as the new assistant general manager of operations. He will replace John Escobar, who will retire at the end of September.
O’Connor has over 34 years of parks and recreation experience, most recently as deputy director of park operations with Santa Clara County.
Beginning as a teenager, O’Connor has spent his entire career in park-oriented fields, with experience in park operations, law enforcement, maintenance, resource management, environmental education and outdoor recreation. He has worked in Sequoia National Park in California, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Olympic National Park in Washington. At Santa Clara County, O’Connor began as a park ranger in 1991 and was promoted several times to his current position as deputy director.
“Jim has a unique and rare set of skills that will serve the East Bay Regional Park District well,” said Doyle. “Along with understanding complicated environmental issues, he has worked in a very urbanized and diverse area, much like the East Bay, and even has experience in law enforcement.”
Along with lauding O’Connor’s strong park operations skills, Doyle is impressed with his enthusiasm and innovative ideas. “Jim will add a new perspective to the management and operations of the East Bay Regional Park District well into the future. I look forward to Jim joining our team.”
O’Connor stated, “I have long considered the East Bay Regional Park District a world-class park organization. I feel honored to be selected to fill the assistant general manager position and look forward to joining the district team.”
O’Connor has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Humboldt State University in Arcata. He completed the National Park Service Seasonal Ranger Law Enforcement Academy and has previously held a secondary teaching credential in life science and physical science. He is married and lives in Gilroy. His wife Dawn is a middle school science teacher with an Master of Science degree in educational leadership. He has a daughter who attends Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo and a son in middle school. The O’Connor family plans to relocate to the East Bay.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park agency in the nation, with 65 parks, more than 109,000 acres and over 1,150 miles of trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The Park Operations Division is comprised of over 400 employees, including park rangers and staff from the maintenance, skilled trades, recreation, volunteer and interpretive departments. The East Bay Regional Park District also operates a Public Safety Division with its own sworn police officers and fire department working closely with the Park Operations.