City of Pasadena logoAfter an extensive recruitment process, City Manager Miguel Márquez is pleased to announce the appointment of former Pasadena resident and long-time City of Glendale Parks & Recreation leader Koko Panossian as the new director of Pasadena’s Parks, Recreation & Community Services (PRCS) Department. Panossian will begin his service in Pasadena on October 2, 2023.

Panossian currently serves as the deputy director of the City of Glendale Community Services & Parks, directing all aspects of park operations and planning, managing 46 park and recreation facilities, creating and overseeing innovative programming and providing support to cultural and arts programs and personnel.

“I am very excited to have Koko join our leadership team,” said Márquez. “His extensive experience in all aspects of a large municipal parks and community services department is invaluable, as is his ability to connect with a variety of constituencies regardless of interests, level of involvement or socioeconomic status. I look forward to our residents getting to know Koko in the months ahead.”

In May 2023, the City solicited feedback from Pasadena residents on the director position, which oversees recreational programs, sports leagues, community and social services and educational activities, facilities and citywide celebrations and cultural events such as the Latino Heritage and Black History parades and festivals.

Panossian has worked in various roles in the City of Glendale Community Services & Parks for two decades. Prior to being appointed as deputy director, he served as a parks services administrator, a senior park services manager and as an administrative assistant. In addition to his experience in managing parks, facilities and programming, he has extensive experience in budgeting, personnel, communications, government relations and capital planning. A certified arborist, Panossian holds numerous certifications including from the National Recreation and Park Association, the California Park and Recreation Society, the National Playground Safety Institute and the International Society of Arboriculture.

“I believe in the profound impact public spaces and programming can have on a community,” said Panossian. “As a public servant, l strive to give my best to our profession. To serve as the director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services in Pasadena–the community where I grew up–is an opportunity of a lifetime. I am honored to lead the Pasadena Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. As someone who grew up in this great City, I recognize the strength of our community and the potential for what we can do together. I cannot wait to get started.”

Panossian has volunteered his time with the American Red Cross, the American Youth Soccer Organization and the University of California, Riverside, among many organizations.

He is a proud graduate of Pasadena’s John Muir High School, earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of California, Irvine, in Political Science and International Studies, and he holds a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Southern California.

Panossian and his wife, Azig, have two daughters, Haylee and Aleena.