MONTEREY COUNTY — Sonia De La Rosa has been appointed as Monterey County’s new County Administrative Officer, announced the Monterey County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 13.
De La Rosa, an experienced public administrative leader, will succeed outgoing CAO Charles McKee, who is retiring at the end of the year. She will assume responsibilities on Jan. 9, becoming the first Latina to lead Monterey County operations.
“I want to welcome Sonia home to Monterey County, and we look forward to her leadership across our diverse communities,” said Supervisor Chris Lopez, District 3. “Her deep experience at all levels and depths of county government will be an asset as she steps into this key role.”
De La Rosa, who was raised in King City, has maintained her roots in this community. She is the product of parents who worked in the fields of the Salinas Valley who instilled in her a deep value of hard work and dedication.
Through this dedication, De La Rosa has held a long-standing career with the County of Fresno, where her hard work has brought forward many improvements to services that have enhanced the lives of the residents there. She brings a breadth of experience dealing with challenging issues, such as homelessness, supporting victims of crime and law enforcement.
“As the first Latina county CAO, she will be an inspiration for our youth and families,” said Supervisor Luis Alejo, District 1. “She was raised in the Salinas Valley and faced the same struggles as many of our local families. She rose from the entry levels in county government and rose to the top in Fresno County. I look forward to supporting her in continuing doing great work here for the people of Monterey County.”
The selection of De La Rosa caps a nationwide search process facilitated by Bob Murray and Associates, a national executive search firm that specializes in placing executives at the nation’s various governmental agencies. A large initial prospect pool was narrowed down to a final round, who met with board leadership and select county executives.
“After thorough succession planning and a comprehensive search process, the board is pleased to have found the best individual to assume leadership for our county,” said Chair-Supervisor Mary Adams, District 5. “Ms. De La Rosa has a track record of strong leadership both inside and outside of government. This, combined with Ms. De La Rosa’s deep knowledge of regional issues and administrative tenure, makes her uniquely qualified to lead the County of Monterey successfully into the future.”
De La Rosa received a dual Bachelor of Science Degree in criminology and Chicano Latino Studies from the California State University Fresno in 1998.
While at the County of Fresno, De La Rosa’s collaborative efforts were instrumental in securing millions of dollars for housing services and establishing a viable and ongoing plan to address homelessness.
The Leadership Foundation describes her as a “poised, competent, effective communicator with a keen understanding of polices, legal constraints and legislative mandates,” according to a county news release. “Her integrity, dependability, excellent communication skills, honestly and collaborative nature have earned Ms. De La Rosa the trust of many community stakeholders in Fresno County who have highly recommended her for the position.”
De La Rosa will work diligently to “tackle the difficult matters our community is facing for the overall betterment of services to the public,” the release continued.
Members of the Board of Supervisors are pleased to welcome De La Rosa to her new role.
“Ms. De La Rosa brings a clear love of public service along with deep experience in county government,” said Supervisor Wendy Root Askew, District 4. “I am confident that her values-driven commitment to collaborative leadership will serve Monterey County well.”
Supervisor John Phillips, District 2, added, “Ms. De La Rosa has vast experience in all aspects of county government. I can think of no person better qualified, and she will be a great leader for our county — where she grew up.”