REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – San Mateo County Manager John L. Maltbie today announced he has appointed Iliana Rodriguez as the director of the Human Services Agency.
Rodriguez will lead an agency with an annual budget of $180 million and 750 employees. The agency assists foster youth, administers programs that promote economic self-sufficiency, provides services to the homeless and helps to prevent child abuse, among other actions.
Rodriguez will succeed Beverly Beasley Johnson, who is retiring after a 37-year career helping those in need.
“Iliana understands the needs of people in our community, that the current economic recovery is leaving many people behind,” Maltbie said. “She began as a case worker and has that passion to help others.”
Rodriguez, a Redwood City resident, has served as director of the San Mateo County Department of Child Support Services since January 2007. She has worked for the County since 1989 and holds a master’s degree in public administration.
“Right now we are seeing historic changes in the way government at all levels delivers services and copes with diminishing resources,” Rodriguez said. “For instance the State is shifting responsibility for low-level offenders to counties to save money. If those offenders are going to succeed – and we are going to make our communities safer – it’s up to us on the local level to develop the types of programs that will help them land jobs and strengthen families,” she said.
Johnson said, “The appointment of Iliana Rodriguez to lead the Human Services Agency is an excellent choice. Iliana’s experience, track record of innovation and collaboration, and passion for public service, are the perfect formula to lead the Agency.”
Away from the office, Rodriguez, who once managed a caseload of 1,400 families, enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her two nephews, ages 10 and 5. When not reading management books, she “loves reading mystery novels. Last read: Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson.”
When asked what quotes she has found inspiring, she named two: for business, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” — Wayne Gretzky.
On managing people: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou.
Rodriguez will start Jan. 2, 2014.
At its core, the Human Services Agency provides assistance and programs to the most vulnerable residents of San Mateo County. Johnson became director in November 2006. She led the agency during the recession when the need for basic services such as emergency food and shelter rose sharply as resources fell. She led the implementation of the “Service Connect” model of parole re-entry of formerly incarcerated residents, which won an award from the California State Association of Counties.
Most recently, Johnson describes the capstone of her career in supporting the Agency and community during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, giving access to life-saving health coverage to the County’s uninsured residents.
Beverly Beasley Johnson
She focused the agency to address the significant issue of disproportionate representation of African American children in the child protective services system and has worked to streamline the agency while preserving the highest level of professional service and accountability.
Under her leadership, the Human Services Agency became the first public agency in California to receive accreditation by the nationally-recognized Council on Accreditation.
“I’ve been privileged to lead one of the County’s largest and most dedicated departments. As I conclude my thirty-seventh year of public service, my seventh as Director of the Human Services Agency, I could not be more proud of the team that I will transition to Iliana. She will inherit a department that is energized, has a commitment to customer service, and fully embraces the County’s values in outcomes and accountability.”