San Bernardino, CA
First African American and only second female ever appointed to position
As its nationwide recruitment effort got underway last week, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors named its Chief Operating Officer Dena M. Smith, to the position of Interim Chief Executive Officer beginning April 1.
Smith has worked for the county for more than 30 years. She joined the San Bernardino Public Employees Association in 1984 where she represented public employees in labor negotiations, grievances and disciplinary appeals for more than ten years. In 1994, she joined the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools as the Human Resources Program Manager where she managed credentials, benefits and training. She also oversaw the establishment and operation of the Educational Resource Centers in Rancho Cucamonga and Apple Valley.
A county employee since 1999, Smith has served the county as its first Chief Learning Officer, as Clerk of the Board and as Director of the Land Use Services Department. In 2011, Smith was promoted to Deputy Executive Officer where she served until her promotion to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) last year—the first in the county to ever hold the position.
In her role as COO, Smith was the primary assistant to Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux on both operational and administrative issues. She also assisted in the implementation of policies and directives from the Board and oversaw the Government Relations, Legislative Affairs, Public Information and Special Projects Units of the County Administrative Office.
For more than thirty years in her various roles with the county, Smith has given her valuable experience in various aspects of county government. She will be the first African American and just the second woman to ever serve the county as its chief executive or chief administrator on an interim or permanent basis.
Smith will replace outgoing CEO, Greg Devereaux who announced his retirement in late January.