Mr. Gary O'Bannon, IPMA-SCP

City of Kansas City, Missouri

Contact Details

City of Kansas City, Missouri


Gary O’Bannon is the Director of Human Resources for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. He manages a staff of 40 professionals who coordinate a comprehensive human resource program for approximately 5,000 employees.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Missouri (Kansas City) and a Master’s degree in Human Resources. He has graduated from both the Harvard and Michigan State University Schools of Negotiation, and currently serves as an adjunct instructor teaching Master’s and undergraduate level human capital management courses at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and formerly at the University of Kansas. He’s served as a visiting instructor for George Washington University/Public Service School of Excellence in Washington, D.C. and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University in New York.

In 2009, the Missouri Governor appointed Gary to the State of Missouri Human Resources Advisory Board, which he currently chairs. He recently completed a three-year term as chair of the Human Resources Advisory Board for the UMKC Bloch School and continues to serve as a member of the Advisory Board.

During his tenure, the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s Human Resources Department has been awarded the International Public Management Association’s Best Practice Award for training and development, as well as the 2015 Best Practice Award for their succession planning model. In 2014, Workforce Magazine awarded his organization the Gold Level Award for the creation of family-friendly benefits. 

Gary has been the recipient of the Award of Excellence for Public Sector Labor & Employee Relations from the National Public Employee Labor Relations Association and the Local Administrator of the Year Award by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of American Society of Public Administrators. In 1993, he was cited by The Kansas City Globe newspaper as one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans.

In a previous career, he hosted the public affairs program, “Urban Affairs” on KCTV-5, a CBS television affiliate from 1984-1998, and worked as a news anchor and reporter for various local stations from 1990-2003.

He has been a frequent invited speaker on various human resource topics at national conferences and has published work on the topic of generational issues.