Joe Halper has had a thirty-five year professional career as an administrator, educator and author in the field of recreation and parks administration that encompasses that of head of the largest public urban recreation and park systems in the country, New York (NY) City and Los Angeles (LA) County. He served as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia and New York Universities, instructing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in park and recreation administration.
Mr. Halper co-authored two text books and a number of articles published in professional journals in this field. Having served at the local, State and Federal levels, he developed the urban park and recreation service plan adopted for NY State while serving as Assistant Commissioner of the NY State Recreation and Parks, and appointed by Secretary of Interior as a Special Assistant to the National Park Service Director. Mr. Halper received international recognition receiving a Knighthood, the Royal Order of the North Star for civic merit from Sweden, and recognized by the LA County Board of Supervisors for saving millions of dollars and preserving service levels after the passage of Proposition 13 tax loss.
Mr. Halper was designated as the LA County representative by the Board of Supervisors to the 1984 LA Olympic Games. He served in the US Army during the Korean War. He has received recognition from Veterans organizations to include American Legion and Jewish War Veterans for his community service. He was active in professional organizations serving as the President of the Long Island Park and Recreation Association, Member of the Executive Board of the NY State Park and Recreation Society and recognized by the NY Metropolitan Recreation and Park Society as Man of the Year.
Appointed as a Consultant to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, he served through the administration of five Presidents. He began his career as a Life Guard for the NY City Park Department at Coney Island, NY and an outdoor education specialist working in a joint project of the State of Michigan Departments of Forestry and Conservation and Department of Education. He is certified in NY and California Courts as an expert in aquatic and playground safety.
Most recently he served as a Commissioner on the City of Los Angeles West LA Area Planning Commission, an area with sensitive Coastal Act protections. His professional training included a B.S degree from State University of New York at Cortland and a Master Degree from Penn State University with Majors in Recreation and Park Administration. He attended the Senior Public Administration Management Program at the University of Virginia.