Rod Diridon grew up in Santa Clara County where he attended local public schools. He worked his way through San Jose State University earning a BA in Political Science in 1993, during which time he interned with then-Congressmember Norman Mineta. Rod returned to San Jose State and earned a Masters in Public Administration, Summa cum Laude in 2013.
Through the mid-1990s, Rod was a substitute teacher at Lincoln High School in addition to consulting for and managing political campaigns. Diridon then worked for six years in high-tech industry for 3Com Corporation, serving as their Global Community Relations Manager. Following this, he became the General Manager for the regional start-up of the FlexCar car-sharing company.
First elected in 1996 at the age of 27, Diridon served two terms on the Santa Clara City Council, and a term as Mayor Pro Tempore and Chaplain. Here, Diridon focused on policy work consistent with good government, the environment and job creation. Setting the stage for future policy, Diridon self-limited contributions to his own campaign for City Council and emerged as one of Silicon Valley’s most effective and creative policymakers.
Diridon was a founding member of the City’s Ethics Ordinance Committee and the Campaign Finance Reform Committee, which he Chaired. He proposed and guided into law an anti-revolving door lobbying policy to protect the fair consideration of issues. He then proposed and saw to a successful election, a thorough review of the City Charter to eliminate gender biases and conform to the Brown Act. As a member of the City’s Ethics Ordinance Committee, Diridon helped create a set of best practices and standards for employees, commissioners and City Councilmembers.
Diridon also proposed the creation of Santa Clara’s unique campaign Finance Reform Act that reduces the influence of money in elections, educates and engages voters, and provides a more level playing field for all candidates. The Act limits contributions and expenditures, provides late campaign fundraising blackout periods, reveals the source of campaign funds to voters and has sanctions against offenders.
In 2004, Diridon was elected City Clerk of Santa Clara where he serves as a member of the City’s core executive team. Here, he worked with City and community partners to fully implement the best practices set by the Campaign Finance Reform and Ethics Ordinance Committees through a robust 2006 Vote Ethics program. This program engaged voters to be more educated about politics and to hold candidates and politicians accountable to be at their best. Diridon was appointed to the additional role of City Auditor in 2007.
In recognition of the 2006 Vote Ethics program, the City of Santa Clara received the International Institute of Municipal Clerks’ first inaugural Program Excellence in Governance Award. Rod also received a City Clerks Association of California Award of Distinction for Voter Outreach and a Character Award from the Boy Scouts of Santa Clara County in 2007. Diridon has received a number of awards for his good government efforts, seen here.
He has shared this good work as an instructor in the practical application of ethics programs at UC Riverside’s master-level Technical Track for Clerks. Diridon has also served on the Board of Trustees of the City of Santa Clara Library, the Board of Directors of KTEH public television, the Board of Fellows of Santa Clara University and the Board of Directors of the San Jose Symphony. He Chaired the County’s Young Democrats and was a member of the Democratic Central Committee for nine years. Diridon founded and was President of Opus 21, a non-profit corporation for young community leaders to support and fund the arts in Santa Clara County. He also Co-chaired a successful school bond measurer, and helped found and later Chaired the County’s successful Saratoga/San Thomas Streamside Trail Committee.
Diridon is 46 years old and owns a home in Santa Clara. He and wife Sabra have two children, Avery and Rodney. He enjoys writing and playing music, restoring vintage automobiles and volunteering for important community causes.