Skip to content

Summary of Joe’s Background

Government Service

State Senator Joe Simitian was elected to the California State Senate in November 2004, to represent the 11th Senate District, which includes all or part of 13 cities in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. His public service over the years also includes:

  • Assemblymember, California State Assembly
  • County Supervisor, Santa Clara County
  • Mayor, City of Palo Alto
  • President, Palo Alto School Board
  • Regional leadership as President of the Santa Clara County School Boards’ Association, President of the League of California Cities Peninsula Division and Chairperson of the Santa Clara County Intergovernmental Council (IGC)
  • Representative of the President of the United States, 1994 U.S. Delegation to Observe Elections in El Salvador
  • Elections Supervisor, 1997 and 1998 Bosnian Elections, Seconded by the U.S. Department of State, serving with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
  • Volunteer, International Rescue Committee (IRC), 1999 refugee relief and resettlement efforts in Albania and Kosovo


  • Juris Doctor (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley
  • Master of City Planning, University of California, Berkeley
  • Master of Arts, International Policy Studies, Stanford University
  • Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, The Colorado College
  • High School Diploma, Palo Alto High School


Senator Joe Simitian is an attorney, businessman and city planner. He is a member of the California State Bar and the American Planning Association, and holds an AICP certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Community Service


  • Board of Advisors, Adolescent Counseling Services
  • Board of Advisors, O’Neill Sea Odyssey
  • Honorary Council Member, Leadership Mountain View
  • Advisory Team, San Mateo County Service Learning Project
  • Trustee Emeritus, Junior Statesmen Foundation


  • Board of Directors, American Leadership Forum - Silicon Valley
  • Co-Chair, Housing Leadership Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Board of Advisors, Clara-Mateo Alliance, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network
  • Steering Committee, Bay Area Council
  • Member, California UN 50 Committee
  • Explorer Scouts Advisor, Law Explorer Post #804
  • North County Allocations Committee, United Way of Santa Clara County
  • President, Friends of the Children’s Theatre