Supervisors approve contract for new Placer County CEO
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — After a nationwide search, Jane Christenson has been selected to permanently fill the position of county executive officer for Placer County. Christenson, who has been acting CEO since June 2022, was chosen from among a field of 15 qualified candidates.
During its meeting Tuesday, the Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a two-year employment agreement with a starting annual salary of $272,875. The board relied on the services of an executive recruitment firm to conduct the nationwide search for a new CEO. The recruitment attracted a strong pool of applicants from across California as well as other states.
“I want to thank all the panelists and county staff that participated in the extensive selection process,” said District 5 Supervisor and Board Chair Cindy Gustafson. “The board appreciates the wisdom and communication from so many of our constituents, elected department heads, and staff members who will be working with and for Jane. I think it is important for residents to understand the thoroughness of the process and how united we were in our support for Jane’s appointment.”
Christenson was first hired by Placer County in January 2019 as the assistant county executive officer to then-CEO Todd Leopold, who resigned in June 2022. Over the past three years, Christenson has been instrumental in moving forward the county’s strategic initiatives and facilitating interdepartmental communication and coordination.
“Jane has acted in the CEO capacity for the past five months and has done an excellent job and I am really excited to have her as our new CEO,” said District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “I am also pleased to see the great internal leadership coming up through the ranks. It’s wonderful that we were able to move Jane into this role and I am confident she is the best candidate for this important position.”
Christenson brings a wealth of leadership, land use planning, and budget experience to the position acquired through nearly three decades of service to a number of local government agencies spanning the West Coast. Christenson’s resume includes 18 years of service to the City of Redmond in Washington, where she was the deputy city administrator responsible for strategic direction and daily operations. Prior to her time in Redmond, Christenson held senior positions working in land use planning, and regional public works infrastructure, along with partnerships and public safety with the cities of Sacramento, Coronado, and Redondo Beach.
“Jane is the seventh county executive that I have worked with in my 28 years and I wanted to publicly congratulate her,” said District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. “We had a great cluster of people to interview. The second round of interviews was all internal candidates, and all were exemplary, but Jane has a unique set of skills and traits that I know will serve us well. As I look toward retirement, I know that the county will be well served with her leadership in the executive office.”
“I am truly honored to serve in this capacity. Like many on the board, I come from a long tradition of public service in my family,” said CEO Jane Christenson. “There’s a quote that my father would share from Theodore Roosevelt that I think captures the moment. It is, ‘Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing,’ and I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve Placer County in this capacity.”
Christenson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University in New York and a Master of Arts degree in public administration from the University of California, Los Angeles. She grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, has a daughter in college and lives in Roseville. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family.
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