Iliana Rodriguez, the current director of child support services in San Mateo County, will take over as director of the Human Services Agency in January.
Ms. Rodriguez resides in Redwood City and succeeds Beverly Beasley Johnson, who is retiring after 37 years in the public sector, County Manager John Maltbie said in an announcement.
The agency's 750 employees, with an annual budget of $180 million, assist residents in need of essential services, including help finding food, shelter, work, health insurance and child care. It is the primary resource for the homeless and foster youth.
Asked about her sources of inspiration on getting things done, she quoted former hockey great Wayne Gretzky: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."
As for managing people, she noted poet Maya Angelou: "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."