Dr. Ruth Fernández named executive director of First 5 Contra Costa

Dr. Ruth Fernández (right) with Marilyn Cachola Lucey, Commission Chair for the First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission. (Photo credit: First 5 Contra Costa)

First 5 Contra Costa has announced the hiring of Dr. Ruth Fernández as its executive director.

Fernández previously served as Deputy Director at First 5 Contra Costa, the nonprofit that invests in programs and activities that benefit Contra Costa County children from prenatal through 5 years old —the most important time in children’s development.

Fernández came to First 5 Contra Costa after working for more than 12 years at the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), where she helped to identify and coordinate educational services for educators working in early childhood education throughout the county.

Last year, she earned her Doctorate degree from Mills College of Oakland in Educational Leadership, with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. She also has a B.A. in Political Economies of Industrialized Societies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in Leadership from St. Mary’s College of California.

In a statement, Fernández said it gives her “great pride” to lead First 5 Contra Costa’s mission “on behalf of young children and their families.”

“It is our duty as community leaders to eradicate the systemic barriers that disproportionately affect the lives and wellbeing of children–they are our most precious resource,” Fernández said. “I am elated for the opportunity to continue to serve the county in this role.”

Using funds from Prop. 10, a statewide tobacco tax, First 5 Contra Costa last year funded health and education programs that served over 25,000 children and parents, from enriching classes for children to resources for new families. Click here for a fact sheet to learn more.