Santa Monica’s Sustainability Trailblazer, Dean Kubani, Retiring After 25 Years of Service

June 28, 2019
by Constance Farrell

Santa Monica’s Sustainability Trailblazer, Dean Kubani, Retiring After 25 Years of Service

This week, the City of Santa Monica gives a massive thanks to Dean Kubani, our retiring Chief Sustainability Officer and trailblazing sustainability leader for the last 25 years. At the June 25, 2019, City Council meeting, the Council, staff, and members of the community rose together in a standing ovation for a man who has dedicated a quarter decade to environmental action in Santa Monica while also defining the field of sustainability for municipalities. Santa Monica has set the gold standard for the field and this is in large part attributable to Dean and the team he built.  

In 1994, Dean joined the City of Santa Monica team as an Environmental Analyst with the Office of Sustainability and the Environment. Since then, Dean has led Santa Monica’s groundbreaking environmental program. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet Dean, there just isn’t anyone quite like him.   

In the last 20 or 30 years, there are only a handful of people who stand as giants in the imprint they’ve made on this City. Dean is one of them,” said Santa Monica City Manager, Rick Cole during the recognition before Council. 

Dean was promoted to Sustainability Manager in 2006 and he served in that role for nine years before becoming the Chief Sustainability Officer in 2016. He oversaw all of the City’s efforts related to water and energy efficiency, urban runoff, green building, hazardous materials, and sustainability. Dean managed the Office of Sustainability and the Environment’s $4.5 million annual budget and supervised 19 staff members in addition to serving as an advisor to regional and international planning organizations.  

In September 2016, Dean Kubani was promoted to Assistant Director of Public Works/Chief Sustainability Officer. During this time, Dean has demonstrated leadership in interdepartmental collaboration, providing policy guidance and support to all Public Works divisions while continuing to passionately work towards a sustainable Santa Monica. 

Not only has served with dedication and distinction, but he has won the respect of his co-workers and others he has come in contact with due to the excellence of his work. Thank you for your loyal service to the City of Santa Monica and we wish you continued success and happiness on your next journey.   

And if you see Dean biking around town or surfing at the beach, say hello and thank you! 

To close Dean’s recognition at Council, Rick shared, “People look at you as the forerunner for what a chief sustainability officer could be. In these dark times, with issues like climate change and plastic consumption in the world, this little 8.3 square miles is really a beacon of hope. It’s a beacon of hope because of the hard work and dedication and brains you brought to this job. You made our aspirations a reality because in government it’s 1% inspiration and 99% implementation and you provided both. Through it all, you were a genuinely nice guy and that is something rare.” 

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