In February 2018, the Glendale City Council voted unanimously to make Yasmin Beers the city’s first female city manager, the top management position in Glendale’s city government. Beers had been serving as interim city manager since the previous November, and she has spent more than three decades working in the city government of Glendale.
Beers began as a part-time employee for Glendale’s library department in 1987 while she was still a student at Hoover High School.
Beer’s earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the California State University, Northridge and later received her Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Woodbury in 2008.
We asked her a few questions about her career and the unique place she now occupies in the history of Glendale’s city government:
You began your career with the City of Glendale more than 30 years ago. Can you talk a bit about your career trajectory and the work that you have done for Glendale over the past three decades?
People have come to city management from many career paths. I probably had as indirect a career path as anyone. I started as a library page in the city’s Library, Arts & Culture Department in 1987, while attending high school and college. Since that time, I held various, progressively responsible positions in the Library Department, and was appointed deputy city manager in 2000. In 2010, I was appointed assistant city manager. Prior to my recent appointment as city manager in February, I served as the interim city manager for the second time in my career with Glendale.
In my position, I oversee approximately 1,600 employees serving in police, fire, public works, parks, library, and Glendale Water & Power Departments, to name a few. I am also responsible for city-wide budget oversight, labor and employee relations, the Capital Improvement Program, policy management, and have previously served as the administrative hearing officer for the city. I have worked to help streamline city operations, forge community partnerships, and maintain the quality of life and outstanding customer service in our community.
Throughout my career with Glendale, I have also been engaged in the community and participated in various local service clubs and organizations such as Soroptimist, Salvation Army, and the American Red Cross.
You are the first female City Manager in Glendale’s 112-year history. Can you address what that accomplishment means to you?
City management has traditionally been a male-dominated profession, so it means everything to me to serve as Glendale’s first female city manager. Being born in Tehran, Iran and moving to the United States at the age of eight, I had always visualized achieving the “American dream.” As the daughter of two hard-working immigrants, I credit my parents with furthering my confidence and discipline that helped me excel through my life and career. I hope that this accomplishment will serve as an inspiration to all girls and women everywhere. A reminder that the most important factor in determining whether you will succeed isn’t your gender–it’s you. Your tenacity and hard work will build your dream career and create a lasting impact.
You received your Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury. How did that experience assist you in your career development?
To be competitive in the city management profession, a Master’s degree is pretty necessary.
Woodbury’s Organizational Leadership program helped me develop my management and leadership skills, and develop an overall understanding of organizational structure and decision-making. The skills I obtained from the program really set the stage for my career–serving in an executive position while going through the program allowed me to integrate what I learned in class with my professional work. There is no better education or experience than applying, reflecting, sharing, and observing both in and out of the classroom.
Woodbury’s program was also great due to the flexibility it provides for working professionals. I was able to balance my personal and professional life, while acquiring the skills to pursue challenging matters in my community.