Peter grew up in Menlo Park, attending both La Entrada Middle School and Woodside High School. He graduated with a B.A. in Economics, magna cum laude, from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Peter and his wife have three children in local public schools.

FamilyAntibody plasma

Public Service 

Peter was elected to the Menlo Park City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. In 2013 and 2018, he additionally served as Mayor. After years of deficits, Peter helped balance Menlo Park's budget in 2011 by paying down an unfunded pension liability that was costing about $800k each year, saving taxpayers $3.6 million in interest expense. He proposed a compromise to balance the city's 2015-16 budget, earning the reputation as the "numbers guy" and a bi-partisan problem solver.

As Mayor in 2013, Peter led the city's first Housing Element since 1994, which enabled 1,134 housing units including the first apartments built in Menlo Park since the 1970s. He worked with downtown businesses to approve the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan that is now building housing and office space on decade-long empty car dealership lots and transforming the Guild Theater into a music venue. As Mayor in 2018, Peter led the rezoning and revitalization of the light industrial/warehouse Bayfront area into a live-work-play innovation zone.

Peter worked to attract a start-up incubator and restaurateur downtown, convinced Facebook to create a community fund that benefits local residents, and grew sister city relationships with Galway, Ireland, and Bizen, Japan. In addition, Peter worked with State Assemblyman Rich Gordon to introduce legislation (AB1690) that gives cities more flexibility in implementing zoning for housing that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the state legislature and Governor Brown signed into law in October 2014.

Galway signingMP Chamber Acorn Awards 2018


Peter supported an agreement between the City of Menlo Park and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District on emergency preparedness and operations, including an update of the city's emergency operations plan. From 2007 through 2010, Peter was elected to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board of Directors, and served as the Board President in 2010. Peter served on the Finance Committee, and oversaw a balanced $32 million budget at the District. With Peter's leadership and financial background, the District paid down 78% of its $13 million pension obligation, saving the District millions in interest costs.

Professional History

Peter is Vice President, Enterprise Incident Management, for Wells Fargo since 2014. Previously, Peter was the Executive Director of the California Resiliency Alliance, a non-profit organization that brings businesses and government together to improve disaster planning and response statewide through effective collaboration between the public and private sectors. The California Emergency Services Association recognized Peter for “for exceptional efforts in support of emergency management and preparedness” in the Bay Area. The Business Recovery Managers Association recognized Peter with its Award for Excellence in 2009. 

Prior to starting the CRA, Peter was the Chief Financial Officer and co-founder of a technology company that served the education and interactive media markets from 1994 to 2005.

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  • Liana Ye
    I like your positioning on today’s forum.
  • Liana Ye
    I like your positioning on today’s forum.
  • Peter Ohtaki