Mayor London Breed has picked Kimberly Ellis to serve as San Francisco’s next director of the Department on the Status of Women.
Ellis formerly served as the executive director of Emerge California, a longstanding program that trains women who wish to run for office.
“Kimberly is a tireless advocate for those who are too often overlooked in our society, and I know that in this role she will continue that work by improving the lives of women and girls in San Francisco,” Breed said in a statement Tuesday. “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting women, exacerbating disparities that already existed beforehand.”
The department was established by voters in 1994 to carry out the work of the Commission on the Status of Women, which was created in 1975 to work on policies and programs to achieve greater equality for women. Emily Murase served as the department’s director for 15 years before resigning on March 20.
Ellis said in a statement that she was “equally humbled and determined to make lasting change in the lives of all San Franciscans.”
“Equity and its creation of economic independence are the silver bullets for so many troubles facing all those this department intends to serve,” Ellis said. “We know that when we raise up women, girls, trans, and gender non-conforming people, every aspect of our society improves.”
“A new era has begun in America and it’s time we empower all marginalized people in the dismantling of systemic racism and the white male patriarchy that has held too many back for far too long,” she continued.
In 2018, Ellis launched her own group called Unbought-Unbossed, or UnB2, which she describes as “an incubator for the next generation of political disruptors.”