Mayor Harrell appoints AP Diaz as Seattle’s next Superintendent of Parks and Recreation

Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the appointment of Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz as acting superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation. Diaz will lead the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and advance Mayor Harrell’s agenda for clean, safe and accessible parks. Diaz is currently the CEO and Deputy CEO of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

WATCH: Mayor Harrell appoints AP Diaz as Seattle’s new superintendent of parks and recreation

“Seattle’s parks, playgrounds and community centers are essential to building healthy communities – they are places of growth, learning, play and opportunity for everyone in our city,” said Mayor Harrell. “AP understands what our parks system stands for – how parks create opportunity, advance equity, provide safe spaces and support youth through mentorship. With a track record of working collaboratively and innovatively with the community and a commitment to preserving open spaces, I believe AP Diaz will bring the values, leadership and experience needed to ensure our world-class parks system reflects our city. and our vision for A Seattle.”

“I am thrilled to join the Seattle Parks and Recreation team because I share Mayor Harrell’s vision for our parks system – recognizing how essential they are to healthy and thriving communities,” said AP Diaz. “As superintendent, I will treat Seattle’s parks and community centers as critical infrastructure that generates opportunities for recreation, mentorship and education, equity and climate action. I am a data-driven, performance management-driven leader who will drive Seattle Parks and Recreation to be transparent and accountable, while working with Seattle’s diverse communities to never lose sight of our shared priorities that parks make the better life !

Diaz is currently the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) General Manager and Deputy General Manager overseeing all day-to-day operations of the department, including financial services, capital projects, special operations, recreation, l maintenance, human resources and risk reduction, governance and leadership issues while assisting the General Manager in all governance, legal, support and policy matters related to the City Parks Commission, the City Council, City Attorney’s Offices and Mayor’s Offices and the LA Park Foundation.

Prior to serving as general manager and deputy general manager, he served as general counsel for the Park Department of Los Angeles. He has notably worked on the transformation, restoration and management model of the historic Greek theater which opened in 1930 and remains one of the most recognized outdoor entertainment venues in the country.

“AP will help us emphasize safety, equitable access, and climate-conscious facilities across our park system,” said Mayor Harrell. “I want to thank Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams for his many years of leadership in the Park Service – never hesitating to step up and support our parks and our people. I look forward to his continued leadership in managing our parks and ensuring they remain open, clean, safe and accessible to everyone.

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) operates a 6,441-acre park system comprising more than 489 parks and expansive natural areas in Seattle, providing welcoming and safe opportunities to play and learn. SPR offers sports fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, specialty gardens and over 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails. The system comprises approximately 12% of the city’s area. SPR also manages many facilities, including 25 community centers, eight indoor pools, two outdoor (summer) pools, three environmental education centers, two small craft centers, four golf courses, an outdoor stadium and more. Again.

This week, City Council, acting as the Parks District Council, approved a second round of funding by advancing a budget focused on essential maintenance and restoration, reinstating the Park Ranger program and investing in the equity, climate resilience, youth mentorship, etc.


Andrew Lewis, City Council Member and Chair of the Seattle Park District Board

“With AP, we have a capable leader ready to implement the funded mandate for clean, safe and open parks. I look forward to supporting his nomination throughout the Council process.

Norma Edith Garcia-GonzalezDirector, Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

“I am delighted to congratulate Mayor Bruce Harrell and the people of Seattle on the appointment of AP Diaz as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for Seattle. AP is recognized as a leader for equity and access to parks and recreation in the city of Los Angeles and nationally. He has been instrumental in developing the broadest and most accessible investment in youth and adaptive sports in partnership with the LA2028 Olympic Games. AP is a Park Champion and will lead innovative, inclusive and diverse programs, services and partnerships to benefit children and families in Seattle. I applaud Mayor Bruce Harrell’s vision to bring together the best of the best to serve and lead Seattle’s parks.

Tiffany Harris, Co-Founder/CEO of Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration

“AP Diaz will be an amazing gift to the City of Seattle and its Department of Parks and Recreation. He is both a visionary leader and someone who will step up to the plate to ensure every detail is handled with care. excellence in supporting EVERYTHING to do with parks. AP’s love for parks is infectious and their support for the diverse people who use them is immense. We are thrilled to see their collaborative vision unfold and commend Mayor Harrell for his wise selection of AP Diaz as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for Seattle.

Kristine Stratton, President and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association

“On behalf of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), I extend my enthusiastic congratulations to the City of Seattle on the appointment of Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz as Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. AP has a long track record of promoting excellence in parks and recreation through his volunteer leadership with the NRPA and his work in the City of Los Angeles.In recent years, this has taken the form of a promoting equity and inclusion in meaningful everyday practices. AP embodies the truth that parks and recreation are essential to the health, well-being and resilience of our communities. Additionally, it promotes this truth every day through his leadership. We are excited to continue to support AP and the entire team at Seattle Park and Recreation and to continue to partner with him and the team to strengthen the field nationally.”

David Michaelson, Chief Assistant District Attorney for the City of Los Angeles

“I’ve worked with AP for nearly 20 years, first as a smart government lawyer solving problems and tackling quality of life issues in our neighborhoods, then as a competent general counsel for Los Rec & Parks, and over the past five years as General Manager of LA Rec & Parks, providing exceptional leadership and visionary direction for a department critical to the well-being and vibrancy of LA.AP is that rare public servant who works collaboratively and effectively with ministry staff, local authorities and community stakeholders, while always seeking to innovate and advance new policies and programs that make a real difference in people’s lives. public service at its core and exemplifies the best of local government. I know that as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, the City of Seattle will benefit greatly from the intell AP’s strength, experience and commitment to excellence and community service.

AP Diaz (left), Mayor Harrell (center) and Christopher Williams (right) pose for a photo.


Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz is the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) and an assistant general manager overseeing all day-to-day operations of the department, including financial services, capital projects, special operations, recreation, maintenance, HR and risk reduction issues, governance and leadership issues while assisting the General Manager in all governance, legal, support and policy matters related to the Parks Commission of the city, city council, city attorney’s offices and mayor’s offices and the LA Park Foundation.

Prior to assuming his current role, AP served as General Counsel for Recreation and Parks, helping to guide the department through many large and significant projects including transformation, restoration and business model of the historic and iconic Greek theatre.

AP has 24 years of professional experience and service to the City of Los Angeles.

Prior to assuming his role at RAP, he served as a city attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, litigating hundreds of cases in the Criminal Branch and a special purpose attorney in the District Attorney Program of the city working on non-traditional methods to reduce community delinquency. Subsequently, he served in the Municipal Law Division of the Civil Division as Legal Counsel for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, General Services and as Senior Contract Counsel for the Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department. He also served as a key city attorney advising and staffing the Los Angeles City Council.

Prior to his municipal service, AP practiced civil law at Knapp, Petersen & Clarke and served as a court clerk for the California Court of Appeals.

AP is an instructor at the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academies, teaching adult development theory and transformational leadership; is a faculty member of the National Recreation and Parks Directors School (NRPA); Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of NRPA’s Parks & Recreation Magazine; board member of World Urban Parks and Pro Tem judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

AP is a native of Angeleno, born in Hollywood and graduated from Santa Monica High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science in International Politics from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and a Master’s Certificate from the Spanish language from the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.

In his spare time, AP enjoys running, swimming, playing tennis, reading historical biographies, travelling, international relations, city planning and urban planning. He lives in Pasadena CA with his wife, Krista, an educator and has two children Megan (16) and Max (11). He has two dogs, Lola and Bella.

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