Dino Pick is resigning from his position as the city manager of Del Rey Oaks. He announced his resignation in a letter to city council on Jan. 25 soon after returning from a leave of absence that saw him serve in a senior role at the Pentagon for the past four months.
In September, during what turned out to be the waning days of the presidency of Donald Trump, Pick was suddenly tapped for a temporary opening at the Department of Defense. He had received a phone call offering him the job of helping draft reforms in the management of the special forces of the United States.
The city of Del Reys Oaks, where he has served as city manager since 2017, granted him a leave of absence until February 15. By late January he returned, having served in a senior government role during the election and through the transition to the Biden administration.
“It was an honor and a surprise and a cause for conversations with my wife and introspection about the return to service at the national level and, and ultimately led to a decision to do so,” Pick says. “It was a great honor of my life to have served in this capacity.”
He resigns as the city manager of Del Rey Oaks in order to take a new federal job that keeps him involved in national security issues. Starting Feb. 1, Pick will join the administration of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey as the director of international graduate programs.
“It'll be fantastic,” he says. “I am excited to do that and working for the school will also allow me to remain connected with the Pentagon as it relates to policy matters and Special Operations matters.”
Working in military higher education is not new for Pick. He was the commandant of the Defense Language Institute from 2010-2014.
After he left that role, he began his foray into local government. He served as a deputy city manager for the city of Monterey for three years before assuming his job as city manager in Del Rey Oaks.
In his resignation letter, he praised the city’s efforts to respond to the pandemic and the economic devastation it has caused. He also touched upon the political and racial tensions that have gripped the country, saying the city has “grown stronger” thanks to the community’s pursuit of social justice and accountability. Councilmembers and staff, he added, have managed to put Del Rey Oaks into “the strongest financial position of its 67-year history.”