SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole has chosen Anuj Gupta to become the Deputy City manager and Director of Policy.

According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, Gupta, a resident of the city, currently serves as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s General Counsel in the Office of Immigrant Affairs. He last worked for Former President Barack Obama in the White House and with the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Anuj stood out because of the extraordinary range of policy experience that he brings from both the local and federal level,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “I’m especially proud that he and his family have made Santa Monica their home, because he brings a genuine passion for serving this community. Anuj is deeply committed to inclusiveness and equity for all, with a strong track record of citizen engagement.”

Gupta worked for the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice before working during President Obama administration as Associate Staff Secretary for the White House with primary responsibility for all presidential policy briefing and decision memos. He also worked on President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Upon returning to Los Angeles, he served as Mayor Garcetti’s Director of Operations, leading a number of key policy initiatives including the campaign to raise the minimum wage and US-China Climate Leaders’ Summit.

“As a Santa Monica resident and parent, I am deeply invested in the future of our great city, and I believe there is truly no better place to live, work, learn, and play,” said Gupta. “I’m delighted to join the city’s team in advancing innovative and progressive policies that will ensure Santa Monica remains a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive community, and a model for dynamic 21st century governance.”

Anuj is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford with a BA in Public Policy and a Cum Laud graduate of NYU School of Law, where he was a teaching assistant to Professor Derrick Bell. He was a law clerk with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and practiced as a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers.

“Anuj’s policy expertise and strategic abilities have been great assets to my administration,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “He has helped drive forward a number of my top priorities — including our efforts to protect immigrant Angelenos. We will miss him on our team, but I know he will be an outstanding leader in the City of Santa Monica.”

As Deputy City Manager, Gupta will lead the development and implementation of policy initiatives to achieve greater community wellbeing, environmental sustainability, economic vitality, and social equity. He will manage special projects requiring multi-stakeholder coordination as well as efforts to promote, measure, and achieve the City Council’s five strategic goals. His new position starts on September 25, where he will have an annual salary of $176,004.