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County hires new Chief Evaluation Officer

Gig Conaughton

County of San Diego Communications Office

The County of San Diego hired Ricardo Basurto-Dávila to be its new Chief Evaluation Officer and lead one of the county's newest offices, the Office of Evaluation, Performance and Analytics.

The office's job will be to increase the county's ability to collect, share and analyze data to help county leaders create and improve policies and programs to address top priorities including mental health, homelessness, equity, racial justice and climate change.

County supervisors voted to create the office in May 2021, and it is still being developed.

Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer said Basurto-Dávila will be a valuable addition to the county.

"We conducted a nationwide search to find Ricardo and he brings a wealth of academic, research and data science experience to our county," Robbins-Meyer said.

"I am beyond excited!" Basurto-Dávila said. "I have a passion for finding the most effective ways to use data to help government leaders make their best decisions and San Diego County's Office of Evaluation, Performance and Analytics creates the perfect opportunity to do that."

The county hired a national search firm that talked with more than 40 county and community leaders to help build a comprehensive pool of candidates. Basurto-Dávila was selected from a group of six finalists from more than 200 candidates. He started his new position May 16.

Basurto-Dávila most recently was a principal analyst at the County of Los Angeles Chief Information Office, where he led a data-science team with the county's Analytics Center of Excellence. Before that he served as a health economist with the County of Los Angeles' Department of Public Health, helping build and lead a team that conducted economic evaluations and health impact assessments of public policies. He also served as a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow with the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he helped use data analytics to evaluate U.S. and international responses to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

Basurto-Dávila earned a doctorate in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California; a Master of Science in economics from the University of Texas at Austin; and a Bachelor of Arts from ITESM, the Tecnológico de Monterrey, in Monterrey, Mexico.


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