SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg will serve a second term on the California State Park and Recreation Commission, after the California State Senate unanimously confirmed his reappointment, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today.
On Aug. 16, the Senate voted 37-0, confirming Ginsburg for a second term. Gov. Gavin Newsom first appointed Ginsburg to serve on the commission back in 2019, and Ginsburg currently serves as the commission’s vice chair.
Ginsburg, who has led SF Rec and Parks since 2009, will continue to bring his expertise in overseeing one of the most innovative park systems in the country to the California State Park and Recreation Commission. The commission is responsible for approving plans and establishing policies of state parks; guiding the director of state parks in the administration, protection, and development of California’s park system; and recommending a comprehensive recreation policy for the state.
“Over the last few years, it’s become even clearer that parks are more than just luxuries. They are essential infrastructure, critical to the health and wellbeing of our communities across the state,” Ginsburg said. “Serving as vice chair on the commission, I’ve witnessed firsthand how policies drive improvements to access, equity, and stewardship. I’d like to thank the State Senate for confirming me for a second term and providing me with the opportunity to continue helping preserve California’s natural treasures, while ensuring they’re within reach for all.”
Boasting more than 220 parks, including world-class destinations such as Coit Tower, Golden Gate Park, and the Palace of Fine Arts, SF Rec and Parks has been consistently ranked one of the nation's top five park systems. In 2017, San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. where 100 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
Since first being appointed to lead SF Rec and Parks more than decade ago by then-Mayor Gov. Newsom, Ginsburg has led the department through transformational improvements to the public realm and made equity and increased access to recreational opportunities the department’s primary goal. In addition, Ginsburg has created a financially sustainable model for San Francisco parks that incorporates ballot advocacy, public-private partnerships, philanthropy, revenue strategies, and tech and administrative upgrades.
Prior to leading SF Rec and Parks, Ginsburg served as chief of staff under then-Mayor Gov. Newsom from 2006 to 2008; director of the San Francisco Department of Human Resources from 2004 to 2006; and deputy city attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office from 2000 to 2004. Ginsburg was an associate and partner at Carroll, Burdick and McDonough from 1993 to 2000. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.