Yolanda Richardson, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency
Yolanda Richardson was appointed Secretary of the Government Operations Agency by Governor Newsom on January 22, 2020.
In her role, Secretary Richardson oversees 11 state departments and programs essential to the effective administration of California state government, including state operations, procurement, information technology, tax administration and human resources.
Within four days of being sworn-in, Secretary Richardson was tasked with responding to the COVID-19 emergency.
She was dispatched to the State Operations Center where she helped procure millions of pieces of personal protective equipment to prepare California for the COVID-19 emergency and she led a team to transition tens of thousands of state employees to work from home amid a statewide stay-at-home order.
Richardson’s met these challenges with skills forged by 25 years of management experience in the private and public sector, including a leadership role at Covered California, the health exchange created under the Affordable Care Act.
From 2011-2016, she helped launch Covered California, working as part of a small team with no office space to build the organization into a workforce of 1,300 employees with three call centers statewide as well as a successful and complex IT system. By the time she departed as Chief Deputy Executive Director, Richardson’s efforts had helped enroll millions of Californians in health coverage and cut the rate of the uninsured by half, an effort that won recognition from President Barack Obama.
Richardson is a recognized leader in organizational management and business process improvement who has more than two decades of management experience in the public and private sector, including leadership positions at Vision Service Plan. Most recently, she held a leadership role at the San Francisco Health Plan and operated a consulting firm that helped clients with enterprise-wide process improvement and performance management.
Richardson is widely respected for her “get it done” leadership style that embraces collaboration and team building. As Secretary, she uses her professional experience to improve management and accountability of public programs, increase efficiency, and improve programmatic effectiveness.
She is passionate about building talent and collaboration in her team of 19,000 employees who provide services to Californians ranging from identifying sites for affordable housing, printing voter information guides, issuing tax refunds, compensating victims of crime, and protecting Californians from cyber threats. Richardson has placed a high priority on addressing issues of equity and inclusion in state hiring, promotion and procurement.
As Agency Secretary, Richardson has responsibility for the Department of General Services, the California Department of Technology, CalHR, the Franchise Tax Board, the Census Office, the California Victims Compensation Board, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, FI$Cal, CalPERS, CalSTRS and the Office of Digital Innovation.
Richardson holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento. She lives in Roseville and is a member of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.