Board of Supervisors Unanimously Confirms Carol Isen as Human Resources Director
Nominated by Mayor London Breed, Isen has served as Acting Director of the Department of Human Resources since October 2020 and has decades of experience in human resources and labor relations
San Francisco, CA — The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to confirm Carol Isen as Human Resources Director for the City and County of San Francisco. Mayor London N. Breed nominated Isen to the position earlier this month, following a comprehensive search for the position. Isen brings a wealth of experience and an established record of success to the role, and is the first openly LGBT individual to serve in the role of Human Resources Director in San Francisco.
Isen has served as Acting Director of the Department of Human Resources since October 2020, prior to which she served three years as Employee Relations Director. She previously served as Chief Labor Relations Director for San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and also served for over a decade as Director of Labor Relations and Community Programs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
“As we look ahead to San Francisco’s recovery and the challenges that are before us, I’m confident that Carol Isen is the right person to lead the Department of Human Resources. She will make sure our employees are supported and that we maintain a workforce that is diverse and inclusive,” said Mayor Breed. “She is a capable and respected leader, and I am proud to have nominated her to this position.”
Isen has an extensive and well-respected career in public service. In 2014, following her recruitment to BART, Isen led a 30-day, small scale negotiations between the BART General Manager and all non-safety unions resulting in a five-year contract extension, which were widely viewed as essential to full recovery from the 2013 BART strike. Most recently, in November 2020, Mayor Breed and Acting Director Isen announced a plan for an independent and comprehensive review of the City’s Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) policies and procedures. Recommendations from the review will support their shared vision to improve the employee experience by ensuring that employees are welcomed, respected, and supported, and that they have the opportunity to develop and advance professionally and build a career with the City.
“I am grateful and honored to serve as Human Resources Director for the City and County of San Francisco,” said Carol Isen “I am inspired everyday by the intelligence, compassion and commitment and our city workforce of over 36,000 people. I look forward to reforming, revitalizing and modernizing the Department of Human Resources to ensure that City government is a place where all employees are respected, heard and are treated fairly so that we can serve the resident of San Francisco to the best of our abilities. In the coming months we will take a thorough and thoughtful look at our operations and services, and focus on the priorities that help us reach those ideals.”
Acting Director Isen has been committed to cultivating a culture of respect, accountability, and belonging, as well as other structural changes that will create better transparency for EEO claims to better serve City employees. Throughout her career, Isen has been involved in labor and employment advocacy and representation in San Francisco government. From 1984 to 2003, she was an organizer, negotiator and Associate Director for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), Local 21.
Acting Director Isen has been deeply involved in transformative changes to the City’s governance and human resources structure, such as charter amendments creating the Department of Human Resources and establishing the City’s now long-standing and unique local rules governing collective bargaining. She has long displayed her commitment to civil rights in the workplace, merit system employment and promoting community development through job training and opportunities, as well as her support for transformative changes to how human resources works for employees to foster a modern merit-based employment system free of bias and nepotism.
Isen is a graduate of University of Michigan Residential College and earned a Master of City Planning degree from University of California at Berkeley.
The Department of Human Resources provides human resource services to approximately 60 city departments, with a total workforce of over 38,000 employees.