Kathy Gallagher

Kathy Gallagher

Director of Contra Costa County, Employment and Human Services Department
Region 1 JPA Board Member


40 Douglas Drive
Martinez, California 94553

Professional Experience

Kathy began serving as the Director of Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department in 2013. Prior to that, she served as the Social Services Director in Santa Barbara County for 16 years. Her responsibilities span a wide array of programs in the areas of Child Welfare Services, Workforce Services and economic assistance; Aging and Adult Services; Administrative Support Services; Community Services including the Head Start Program; and the Workforce Development Board. The department budget of $550 million supports benefits and services to over 400,000 community residents, provided by over 2,000 staff.

Kathy began her commitment to the human services as a Peace Corps volunteer in South America. She joined Santa Clara County as a Spanish-speaking eligibility worker and rose steadily through a variety of jobs that provided her with experience in most social services programs, legislative affairs, budget development and human resources management. She is proactive in working to support the human services network in the community.


Kathy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from California State University at San Jose and has completed the coursework for the Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.


Kathy is single and is committed to an extended family of relatives and god-children.  She is a dedicated pet owner, who are always part of her family.


Kathy has been on the Boards of the League of Women’s Voters, Habitat for Humanity, Child Abuse Listening and Mediation, Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council, and she remains actively involved in supporting the goals and programs of these and several other agencies.

Professional organizations

  • County Welfare Director’s Association
  • Bay Area Social Services Consortium
  • WCDS Sub-Committee (formerly CalWIN Board of Directors)
  • First 5 Commission
  • Community Corrections Partnership
  • Workforce Development Board
  • American Public Human Services Association
  • American Society on Aging
  • Children’s Welfare League of America