The City Council has picked Cynthia Kurtz to be city manager, the first woman to hold the post in Pasadena.
The council voted 6 to 0 Monday to appoint Kurtz, who had been acting city manager.
"She is very professional, dedicated and hard-working," said City Councilman William Paparian. "My only regret is we should have considered this sooner."
Kurtz took over as acting city manager in March, after the resignation of longtime City Manager Phil Hawkey.
She has served as assistant city manager and public works director. A native of Pennsylvania, she came to Pasadena 11 years ago as a program administrator. Previously, she had worked in Portland, Ore., for about a decade.
Kurtz is best known for championing the city's efforts to get the Pasadena Blue Line built.
Colleagues describe Kurtz as a tough, no-nonsense manager.