Serena Ortega was appointed as the Chief, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) on May 15, 2017, and was promoted to Deputy Director, Office of EEO in December 2020.

Serena brings over 13 years of State of California experience and has served in various capacities that have contributed to her overall success within the Department. Serena’s Statewide advocacy roles include, election as Chairperson for the Statewide Disability Advisory Council (SDAC), where she was influential in assisting and providing guidance to departments, boards and agencies on successfully maintaining their respective Disability Advisory Committees.

Serena was also elected as a Chairperson for the Statewide Performance Management /Progressive Discipline Forum (PMPD), where various interpretations of Human Resource Management challenges, to include complex modifications to the law, and administering performance management was facilitated throughout the State.

Serena also fulfilled several critical roles on the Statewide ‘Joint Project’ to increase the number of persons with disabilities and to enhance the reasonable accommodation process, to include serving as a Joint-Project Core Team member, as well as member of various sub-groups. As a result, overall findings were identified, and recommendations that critical changes were brought forth to ensure the overall success of employing individuals with disabilities and eliminating artificial barriers. These efforts and recommendations continue to positively shape the State’s pursuit, to achieve equality for all.

Beyond her day-to-day duties, Serena also serves as a Returning Veterans: Enlisting Their Skills for CAL FIRE Service (R.V.E.T.S.) Core Member. R.V.E.T.S. is the Department’s grassroots effort to assist veterans, service members, and their families with integration and transition into service with the Department. Additionally, Serena serves as a member of the Department’s Executive Team, an instructor and cadre member for Executive Leadership (Supervision 5), and as a participant on an array of committees, workgroups, and forums.