Berkeley city officials Friday named former Albany administrator Daren Fields as the interim director of the city's health department.
Fields succeeds Fred Medrano, who retired in December after serving the City of Berkeley for 30 years. As director of the Department of Health Services for 14 years, Medrano oversaw California's only independent health and mental health jurisdictions.
In a letter to the Mayor Tom Bates and the Berkeley City Council, Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz said he had contracted with the firm Management Partners to hire Fields while the city searches for someone to fill the position.
“We have not yet completed the recruitment process for a new director, so we are fortunate to have Daren as the interim director while we complete that process,” Kamlarz said. He said Fields brings nearly 30 years of experience in state and local to Berkeley.
“The depth and breadth of his experience will be extremely helpful to the Department of Health Services as we plan for the short- and long-term impacts of significant funding reductions from the state,” Kamlarz said.
During his tenure as city administrator of Albany, Fields pursued funding for various projects, built a new child-care and teen center and a library-community center. He most recently served as Fremont's economic development director.
Fields, 48, graduated with a degree in political science from UC Berkeley.