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    HomeGovernmentSanta Barbara County Announces Appointment of Human Resources Director

    Santa Barbara County Announces Appointment of Human Resources Director

    The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has approved the appointment of Kristine Schmidt as the new Director of Human Resources.  Schmidt’s selection comes after an extensive nationwide search to find the ideal candidate to succeed Maria Elena De Guevara, who will retire from the position in January 2024. Schmidt will assume her new role on January 2, 2024.

    Schmidt brings a wealth of experience in human resources, particularly in local government settings, to her new position. She currently serves as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Goleta, a role she has been in since 2019. Before her tenure in Goleta, she dedicated 22 years of her career to the City of Santa Barbara from 1997 to 2019, where she held various positions in human resources, employee relations, and administrative services. Her journey in the field of human resources began in 1991, reflecting her strong commitment and dedication to the profession.

    In addition to her extensive professional background, Schmidt holds a Juris Doctorate from the Santa Barbara College of Law, further enhancing her qualifications for her new role.

    Regarding her appointment, Schmidt stated, “I am honored to join the County of Santa Barbara as the Director of Human Resources. It is a privilege to serve this community, and I am committed to fostering a work environment that values employees and promotes their growth and well-being. I look forward to collaborating with the County’s dedicated team to continue to attract, develop, and retain top talent to serve our community effectively.”

    County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato, expressed her confidence in Schmidt, saying, “Kristine Schmidt’s comprehensive experience, and proven local leadership in the field of human resources make her the ideal candidate to lead our Human Resources department. I am confident that she will continue innovative solutions as we meet the evolving needs of our workforce.”

    “Kristine Schmidt’s experience in local government and familiarity with our community’s unique needs will make her a perfect fit for this position. Her expertise and commitment to enhancing our workforce will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the County. I am confident that she will lead the department with integrity and dedication,” said Board Chair and First District Supervisor Das Williams.

    Maria Elena De Guevara has served as the Human Resources Director for the County since 2018.  Under her leadership the County has launched innovative organizational and talent development programs for employees; implemented a Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program that features a toolkit, annual symposium and a space for County employees to connect; and led initiatives to attract and recruit top talent to join and stay with the County.

    Miyasato added, “I would like to recognize Maria Elena De Guevara for her work and leadership as our Director of Human Resources.  She has worked to put our employees first, even during unprecedented times like the COVID-19 pandemic.  Her tireless work for this County and commitment to its employees, have enhanced our County culture and promoted inclusiveness. The positive work she has accomplished will continue to impact our operations as the largest employer in the area for years to come.”

    The Human Resources Department supports the County in Recruitment and Selection; Labor Relations; Benefits and Wellness; Classification and Compensation; Performance Management; and Training and Development.

    For information about the Santa Barbara County Human Resources Department, go to HR | Santa Barbara County, CA.

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