A Menlo Park native, Peter Ohtaki graduated from Woodside High School. He would then earn his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, magna cum laude, from Harvard University and his Master’s in Business Administration from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
In 2010, Peter was elected to the Menlo Park City Council and re-elected in 2014. In 2013 and 2018, he also served as Mayor. Following years of deficits, Peter led the effort to balance Menlo Park’s budget by addressing the city’s unfunded pension liability, saving the taxpayers $3.6 million in interest expense. Dubbed by his colleagues as the “number guy,” Peter brokered a compromise to balance the city’s budget, earning him a reputation as a bipartisan problem-solver.
Peter successfully attracted a start-up incubator and restaurateur downtown to create new opportunities for Menlo Park residents. He also convinced Facebook to create a community fund that benefits residents. To give cities more flexibility implementing zoning for housing, Peter partnered with State Assemblyman Rich Gordon to introduce legislation (AB1690) which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in Sacramento and was signed into law by Governor Brown.
Before serving on the Menlo Park City Council, Peter served on the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board of Directors, inevitably serving as Board President. He facilitated an agreement between the City of Menlo Park and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District on emergency preparedness and operations, including updating the city’s emergency operations plan. Under his leadership, the District paid 78% of its $13 million pension obligation, saving the District millions in interest costs.
Peter is currently Vice President, Enterprise Incident Management, for a major bank. Previously, as Executive Director of the California Resiliency Alliance, a non-profit public-private partnership, he brought businesses and government together to improve disaster resiliency statewide. Peter partnered with Assemblyman Pedro Nava to pass AB2796, which extended Good Samaritan liability protection to companies and non-profits that assist in disaster response. Before the California Resiliency Alliance, Peter was the Chief Financial Officer and co-founder of a technology start-up that served the education and interactive media markets from 1994 to 2005.
In 2009, he was awarded the Business Recovery Managers Association Award for Excellence. In addition, for his exceptional efforts in support of emergency management and preparedness, Peter was recognized by the California Emergency Services Association.
When he is not working or serving the community, he enjoys spending time with his wife and their three kids.