City Manager

About Ara MihranianCity Manager Ara Mihranian Portrait

Ara Mihranian, a veteran urban planner and longtime employee of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, was appointed City Manager in February 2020.

Soon after graduating from Arizona State University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in urban planning from the School of Architecture, he began his career in the public sector as an unpaid intern in the Planning Department for the City of Malibu and the Chief Executive Office for the City of Culver City. Three months into his internship, he was hired as an Assistant Planner for the City of Malibu and served the City from 1995 to 1998.

Ara’s first day at the City of Rancho Palos Verdes was September 28, 1998, when he started as an Associate Planner in the Planning Division of the Community Development Department. He went on to hold the positions of Senior Planner, Principal Planner, Deputy Director, and was named Director of Community Development in 2016. During his tenure in the Community Development Department, Ara was responsible for overseeing some of the most high-profile development projects in Rancho Palos Verdes, including Terranea Resort, the Marymount College Campus Master Plan, the creation of the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve and adoption of the City’s Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan, and the 2018 General Plan Update, to name a few. He was also involved in various residential construction projects, the renovation of the Golden Cove Shopping Center, park improvement projects, and Citywide trails, including the City’s segment of the California Coastal Trail.

Ara was appointed Interim City Manager in November 2019. Shortly after being named permanent City Manager a few months later, he led the City’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the years, he has built many close relationships in the community. He is a familiar face to residents at homeowners association meetings, Chamber of Commerce functions, and local events.

He is a member of the International City Managers Association (ICMA), California City Management Foundation (CCMF), American Planning Association, and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and has served as chairperson for the South Bay City Councils of Governments (SBCCOG) City Managers Group since February 2022.

Ara is the son of Armenian immigrants and was raised in Santa Monica and Northridge. He is active in the Armenian community and was honored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors during Armenian History Month in April 2019. When not in the office, he can be found at the gym, enjoying a run on some of the most beautiful trails in the City and Los Angeles, on a plane traveling to obscure places around the world (time permitting), baking sugary delights, or cooking traditional Middle Eastern dishes from his mom’s recipe box.


The City Manager, a professional hired by the City Council, directs the City's day-to-day affairs and is charged with carrying out the City Council's decisions and adopted policies.

Under the aegis of the City Council, the City Manager proposes policies and programs, carries out directives voted by the City Council, and develops a long-range view of City problems, needs, goals, and objectives for consideration by the City Council. The City Manager also prepares general rules and regulations necessary for the conduct of the administrative offices and departments of the City and supervises the preparation of the City's budget and financial reports each fiscal year.

City Manager's Staff Responsibilities

In addition, the City Manager's staff is responsible for:

  • Overseeing risk management
  • Providing community outreach including publication of the City's quarterly newsletter
  • Issuing film permits
  • Overseeing contracts with Los Angeles County for law enforcement and animal control services
  • Conducting personnel recruitment
  • Managing employee benefits programs
  • Coordinating the City's emergency preparedness program

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