She will begin her new position with the City of Palm Springs on Monday, June 27.
Wise was hired in 2007 by the Port of San Diego – a California state public agency with jurisdiction over 34 miles around San Diego Bay – spanning five cities – and has led the Parks and Recreation Department since 2017. Over the past five years, she has been responsible for developing policies and strategic plans, and managing public access to 22 parks, piers, athletic fields, two cruise ship terminals, and an aquatic center to encourage recreation and promote civic pride.
In her role, Wise was responsible for the issuance of permits for day-to-day park usage, as well as filming, fireworks, markets, festivals, and commercial and recreational activities. She negotiated partnerships with event organizers and managed large-scale events including the annual Big Bay Boom Fourth of July Fireworks, Holiday Bowl Parade, and Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival in support of the regional tourism economy. In addition, Wise managed the incorporation of aesthetic enhancements in capital improvement and redevelopment projects and led the ongoing initiative to artistically illuminate the San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge with colored programmable LED luminaires.
Prior to the Port of San Diego, Wise was Public Art Director for the City of Philadelphia where she served as steward of the City’s municipal art collection and directed highly visible public programs.
“Yvonne Wise’s 20 plus years of municipal experience leading parks and recreation and public art programs will serve her well in Palm Springs,” said Clifton. “We are fortunate to be getting her talent and expertise and I am excited to welcome her to the executive management team.”
Wise holds a master’s degree from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia and has dual bachelor’s degrees from Pennsylvania State University.
She is a member of the California Park and Recreation Society and the National Recreation and Park Association.
“For someone truly passionate about people, parks and placemaking, the culturally rich city of Palm Springs offers a vibrant canvas,” said Wise. “I am honored to be chosen to lead the City’s Parks and Recreation department and I look forward to joining this community and working alongside a talented team.”