Redwood City – A longtime health and behavioral health leader both in San Mateo County and elsewhere has joined the Human Services Agency (HSA) this week as its new assistant director.
Dr. Jei Africa was most recently director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services for the County of Marin where he focused on expanding community outreach to underserved communities, expanded the continuum of care for clients and led the acquisition of several critical residential facility projects for those with mental health and substance abuse conditions.
Prior to that role, Africa served for over a decade as the director of the Office of Diversity and Equity within San Mateo County Health. Africa, the first openly transgender county behavioral health director in the United States, was instrumental in the opening of a transgender health clinic and spearheaded development of the first multi-disciplinary behavioral health LGBTQ+ community center in San Mateo County.
“I am excited to be back in the County of San Mateo — the place where I live and where I started my career in public service. I’m hopeful that my experience will help enhance and elevate HSA’s efforts to help those who are in need of support and services, so that they can thrive,” Africa said. “I look forward to working in partnership with staff, clients and residents and other partners in the community to ensure our services are accessible, equitable and client-centered.”
Ken Cole, director of the Human Services Agency, praised Africa’s experience and leadership.
“Jei Africa brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and intelligence to his new position as the HSA assistant agency director. He is a proven leader who cares deeply about equity, the mission of our agency and the general welfare of those in need,” Mr. Cole said. “We are fortunate to have him joining our leadership team.”
Africa holds a doctorate of psychology in clinical psychology and a master of arts degree in clinical psychology from Alliant International University/California School of Professional Psychology and a post-doctoral master of science degree in clinical psychopharmacology. Africa also earned a bachelor of social science degree from the University of the Philippines (Manila), in behavioral science.
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