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Head of SF’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development resigns

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Todd Rufo announced Thursday he will leave his post as head of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. (Courtesy photo)

Todd Rufo announced Thursday he will leave his post as the head of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The late Mayor Ed Lee had appointed Rufo to the post in August 2012, after he previously served as the department’s deputy director with a focus on attracting and retaining businesses in sectors like technology and manufacturing.

Rufo told staff in an email Thursday afternoon, which was obtained by the San Francisco Examiner, that he will leave the department after 11 years at the end of this month. Mayor Mark Farrell has asked OEWD’s deputy directors Joaquin Torres and Ken Rich “to each take on some additional responsibilities during this transition,” Rufo said in the email.

“After more than 11 years with this amazing department, I have decided to make a change. I will be leaving OEWD at the end of May to start a new adventure,” Rufo wrote.

Rufo said that he would be “ joining Bloomberg Associates, an international nonprofit consultancy which works with mayors and cities. It’s an incredible opportunity to work with cities globally on my passion – economic and workforce development.”

Rufo also said, “I am a big believer that people should do everything they can with the time they have, and then step aside and let others bring new ideas and new ways of doing things.”

The department, which has about a $60 million budget this fiscal year, helps negotiate large public-private development projects and oversees job-training programs to help residents secure jobs in construction and other industries. It also oversees efforts to revitalize Mid-Market and Civic Center areas and provides services for small businesses and commercial corridors.

Rufo’s departure comes shortly before the election of a new mayor on June 5, and there are no guarantees who the next mayor will keep on in these key leadership roles. Mayor Mark Farrell’s months-long term will end upon certification of the election results some time in July.

Rufo isn’t the only top ranked official in the mayoral administration to part ways in recent weeks. Kate Howard, who served as the late Mayor Lee’s deputy chief of staff and continued in that role for Farrell, just landed a job in the Department of Human Resources.

Howard resigned as the Mayor’s Office Deputy Chief of Staff on May 4 and began working as the Department of Human Resources deputy director on May 7.

Meanwhile, Police Chief Bill Scott is reportedly among three finalists to become the Los Angeles Police Department’s chief, about a year and a half after Lee had appointed Scott as San Francisco’s top cop.

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