SAN FRANCISCO, CA---Mayor London N. Breed and City Administrator Carmen Chu today announced the appointment of Kenneth Bukowski to serve as the next Director of the Convention Facilities Department, overseeing operations and development at the City-owned Moscone Center. Bukowski has served as Deputy Director at the City Administrator’s Office since 2012, where he has worked closely with City officials, industry partners, and community leaders on every major transition at the Moscone Center in the past decade, including:
- The completion of the Moscone expansion project
- The immediate transformation of Moscone’s facilities into the City’s COVID Command Center and mass vaccination site during the pandemic
- The creation of the Moscone Recovery Fund to help bring back conventions to San Francisco.
Bukowski has served as the Acting Director of Convention Facilities since the retirement of former Director John Noguchi in January 2022.
“I am proud to appoint Kenneth Bukowski to serve as the new Director of San Francisco’s Convention Facilities Department,” said Mayor Breed. “As we continue to recover from the pandemic, we need to ensure that we are doing all that we can to bring back conventions and getting our economy back on track. Ken understands the work that needs to be done, and I am confident that he is the right person to lead this department.”
Last year, Bukowski worked closely with the Mayor’s Office to create the $4.6 million Moscone Recovery Fund, which reduces the costs of renting space at the Moscone Center to welcome and support the return of convention, conferences, and trade shows in San Francisco. To date this year, the Moscone Center has hosted 18 conventions, including the restart of major annual conferences such as Game Developers Conference and RSA Conference. Moscone currently has 18 more conventions and events planned through the remainder of the year with the largest being Dreamforce in September.
“Ken is a phenomenal City leader and trusted fiscal steward of our City’s valuable resources. I’m thrilled that he will continue to serve our City as our permanent Convention Facilities Director,” said City Administrator Carmen Chu, who oversees the Convention Facilities Department. “Ken understands how important the Moscone Center is for our City’s $10 billion travel and tourism industry. As we enter into this critical stage of recovery, I know Ken has the tenacity and focus we need to elevate the visitor experience. Competition for convention business is fierce, and Ken and I look forward to expanding the visitors we welcome to our City.”
In his new role, Bukowski will oversee operations and management of the Moscone Center, which consists of three buildings (North, South, and West) with over 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 120 meeting rooms, a 50,000 sq. ft. ballroom and more than 25,000 sq. ft. of outdoor terraces ideal for receptions. The state-of-the-art convention center is a key economic driver in San Francisco, drawing over 1 million visitors per year to San Francisco pre-pandemic and fueling San Francisco’s travel and tourism industry.
“I am deeply honored to step into this role to continue to revitalize our convention industry and support our downtown recovery. The Moscone Center represents the best that San Francisco has to offer. Its spacious facilities, surrounded by gardens, restaurants, and downtown shops, are the ideal setting for innovation, intellectual exchange, arts and culture, and commerce. I am excited to continue working with industry and community partners to shepherd the Moscone Center through this critical recovery period,” said Bukowski.
Bukowski has served on the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District Management Corporation Board since 2017 and was influential in securing funding for the $551 million Moscone expansion project, a partnership between the City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District. Completed in 2019, the expansion added over 150,000 sq. ft. of new usable space for conferences and created over 500,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, opening up more flexibility for conference organizers.
“Ken has been instrumental in supporting the return of conventions to San Francisco, and his appointment will further bolster recovery. He has been a champion for San Francisco’s meetings industry, with his efforts critical to the success of the Moscone Center expansion and the creation of the Moscone Recovery Fund, which will ensure San Francisco remains competitive in the market in the years ahead. We are thrilled with his appointment and excited to continue working closely with him to help drive the City’s economic recovery,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association.
The Convention Facilities Department works closely with the SF Travel Association to promote San Francisco as the premier destination for conventions, meetings, and tradeshows.
“The Moscone Center is an integral part of our city, specifically our downtown community--conventions and trade shows showcase all that our beautiful city has to offer, bringing visitors and unique activities to our world-class cultural institutions, restaurants, retail stores and more. We are thrilled to learn that Ken Bukowski has assumed this important leadership position. He will continue to work with the Union Square Alliance to make sure that Union Square and our downtown neighborhoods remain a thriving center of economic vibrancy, entrepreneurship, and diversity, " said Marisa Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Union Square Alliance.
When the pandemic hit, the Moscone Center paused conventions and transformed into the site of the City’s COVID Command Center, where City workers centralized COVID response planning and efforts under one roof. It was also turned into one of the state’s largest vaccination sites, where over 330,000 vaccinations were administered from February through July 2021.
The COVID Command Center closed by the end of June 2021. That same year, the Moscone Center earned the highly coveted and universally recognized Global Biorisk Advisory Council Star Accreditation, the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities, making San Francisco one of the safest cities for in-person conventions to return.
Bukowski has over 25 years of executive leadership experience in both government and community-based nonprofits. Prior to joining the City Administrator’s Office as Deputy City Administrator, Bukowski served as Chief Financial Officer/Director of Finance & Administration for several City departments—the Department of Technology, the Police Department, and the Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families. He has also served as the Executive Director of San Francisco nonprofits, the Positive Resource Center (PRC) and the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC). Bukowski earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln College of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.