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Jennifer Yasumoto has been appointed director of the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) for Napa County, effective Jan. 28, County Executive Officer Minh C. Tran announced.

She will replace Howard Himes who retired in July after holding the post for four years.

The agency, which had a budget of more than $112 million, offers child welfare, public health, mental health, alcohol and drug, self-sufficiency, and older and disabled adult programs and is the County’s largest department with more than 480 employees.

Yasumoto has been with Napa County since 2002, and currently serves as chief deputy county counsel overseeing and providing legal representation for HHSA and Human Resources, the county said in a news release. She has previously served in a variety of management roles including in Mental Health, Health and Human Services Administration, Privacy, and served as the deputy director-quality management/compliance officer for HHSA for six years.

“Ms. Yasumoto has extensive, high-level leadership and management experience. She is thoughtful, strategic and has in-depth knowledge and experience with most HHSA programs,” said Tran.

Brad Wagenknecht, chairman of the Napa County Board of Supervisors added, “Ms. Yasumoto has a real heart for the health and welfare of Napa’s residents. She is well-respected by her colleagues and staff throughout Napa County and the community. She has stepped up on multiple occasions to fill interim roles throughout the County and has always excelled in any assignment given.”

Yasumoto holds a juris doctorate from University of San Francisco and a bachelors’ degree from University of California, Davis.

“I am committed to engaging and partnering with the dedicated HHSA staff and our community-based organizations to offer programs and high quality coordinated services that establish Napa County as a model, integrated agency in the State of California,” Yasumoto said.

Chief Probation Officer Mary Butler will continue to serve as HHSA’s interim director until Jan. 27.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.