Innovating Talent Acquisition – How San Mateo County Is Redefining the Way Local Government Attracts Emerging Leaders

How can we attract top talent into local government; create a valuable succession plan; and, identify the next generation of leaders in public service? The County of San Mateo, under the leadership of Donna Vaillancourt, the Human Resources Department, hopes to answer these questions through its new Management Fellowship Program – a leadership progression effort that affords a unique prospect for recent graduate-level (e.g. MBA, MPP, and MPA) professionals to participate in valuable work opportunities in San Mateo County.

Inaugurated in early 2015, the Management Fellowship Program has partnered with local colleges and universities, including San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley, and University of San Francisco, to create a program that delivers specialized career development and enhanced learning opportunities for its Management Fellows.

Currently, San Mateo County hosts three Management Fellows with several departments, including the LEAP (Learn, Engage, Aspire, Perfect) Institute, Parks, County Budget Office, and the Office of Sustainability.

Who Are the Current Management Fellows?

barreraKristin Barrera, MPA
Kristin Barrera received her graduate degree in Public Administration from San Francisco State University and has recent experience working for the San Francisco City Administrator’s Office and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Currently, she serves as the Management Fellow for the LEAP Institute, a division of the San Mateo Health System, which uses the Lean Management approach to support organizations work towards their strategic goals. She supports the LEAP Institutes’ efforts on organizational development, project design, and performance management. Her overarching goal is to increase the sustainability of process improvements developed in the partnering organizations. Her mentors at LEAP include Mary Brinig, Strategy & Organizational Development Manager, and Jyotsna Nimkar, LEAP Implementation Manger. Kristin’s goals include addressing social challenges by finding solutions to help others and by improving social service programs while perfecting her skills in the field of health and human services.

jorqueraRolando Jorquera, MPA
Rolando Jorquera graduated with academic honors, summa cum laude, from California State University, Northridge and was awarded the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics’ Warner K. Masters Award for both student and life accomplishments. Upon graduation, he decided to follow his passion for public service by pursuing an MPA at San Francisco State University, where he received the Department of Public Administration’s Barbara Jordan Award for Student Excellence. As a Management Fellow with both the Parks Department and the County Manager’s Office, Rolando is working on a variety of assignments and projects. With the Parks Department, under the leadership of Marlene Finley, Parks Director, Rolando is responsible for monitoring the department’s budget, processing and managing the department’s contracts, and completing special projects that involve performance metrics and quantitative or fiscal analysis. Rolando also works with the Budget Director, Jim Saco, at the County Manager’s Office, where he assisted in writing Request for Proposals and completing assignments that involve data analysis and reports that examine County revenue and cost data.

logiaJenifer Logia
Jenifer Logia pursued her B.A in International Development Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she also worked for the Department of Political Science, and later for the UCLA Office of Diversity & Faculty Development. She served as the Director of the Mixed Student Union at UCLA and is now the President and Founder of the UCLA Mixed Alumni Association. As a Management Fellow and Outreach Coordinator for the North Fair Oaks Forward initiative, Jenifer works with Jim Eggemeyer, Director at the Office of Sustainability, and the North Fair Oaks Forward team of champions to engage with local residents, businesses, and community organizations to ensure that future development projects align with the vision of the community.

Cultivating Partnerships
By creating a talent pipeline for individuals with a deep interest in local government and leadership, San Mateo County hopes to expand and cultivate the Management Fellowship program as a value-driven entry point of opportunities for talented professional who seek careers in public service.   With the commitment of various departments at San Mateo County, in addition to the valuable partnerships with local universities, the Management Fellowship program continues to support the County’s commitment to engaging a new wave of talent into local government.

For more information about our Management Fellowship Program, please visit our website at


ICMA Leaders Enhancing SF State’s MPA Program

The International City and County Management Association (ICMA) identifies leading practices in local government worldwide. Through its research, data, training, and professional development, ICMA addresses the needs of local governments and professionals serving small and large communities in 31 countries. Having three ICMA leaders on its advisory and teaching corps definitely enhances San Francisco State’s Public Administration program.

martel_photoFirst, Daly City Manager Patricia Martel is currently ICMA’s President. She was an ICMA Regional Vice President from 2009-2012 and has been serving in California local government for over 30 years. Pat guides the MPA program as a member of our Advisory Board. In 2013, she received our Outstanding Community Service Award.

GouldRodNext, Rod Gould, who taught with us in the past and is now renewing his connections with the program, has just completed his three-year term as ICMA West Coast Vice President and member of the Executive Board. Rod pushed for ICMA to elevate leadership to be co-equal with ethics as a pillar and requirement for membership, and will serve on the Committee to implement the recommendations. Rod also served its Committee for Professional Conduct, which enforces the ICMA Code of Ethics. His stint at ICMA “was an eye-opener, for sure,” according to Rod. Rod was featured last month in this blog for a talk he gave at our Budgeting (PA 730) class (please click here

Last, but not the least, Glen Rojas, who currently teaches our Public Service Management (PA 740) course, seglenrves as the Senior Advisor to the County Managers in San Mateo County. “At times, managers find themselves in a position where they may need to bounce a serious situation off of someone they can trust that may have had a similar experience. They may prefer to go outside the organization for advice but stay within the profession. Other times they need support and resources to assist them with their transition.  ICMA has a number of resources available to managers,” according to Glen. Senior Advisors throughout California talk monthly to keep abreast of ICMA and share how their areas are going. “Being a Senior Advisor has been very beneficial to me as an instructor for SFSU.  I have resources to tap and I keep updates on the issues in the profession and local government” Glen shared.