Elaine Polachek was appointed Interim Executive Vice President of Santa Monica College in August 2017. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Polachek has operational oversight of SMC’s Human Resources, Facilities Planning, Business and Administration, Institutional Research, Information Technology, and Grants divisions.
During her extensive public administration career—spanning more than 30 years—Polachek held several key positions with the City of Santa Monica, most recently as Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer from 2010 to 2017. Polachek previously served as Deputy City Manager, Director of Community Maintenance, and Open Space Manager with the City of Santa Monica. Prior to that, Polachek served as Vice President of Marketing at the Pacific Design Center, and Operations Manager for the Pier Restoration Corporation, where she played a key role in the redevelopment of the Santa Monica Pier from 1984 to 1995. She also served in management positions with the Province of Ontario, Canada and the City of Scottsdale, AZ.
Polachek is the recipient of several professional awards and acknowledgements including the Outstanding Women Leaders Award from the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and the Commission on the Status of Women; 2016 Woman of the Year for the State of California Assembly District 50; and the 2014 John H. Nail Award from the League of California Cities City Managers’ Department, which is presented to an outstanding municipal assistant city manager who has contributed significantly to his or her city government and to the advancement of the community.
Polachek earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from UCLA; she also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.