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County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

Maria Christina Rivera named as new County Administrator for County of Sonoma

SANTA ROSA, CA | January 03, 2023

Assistant County Administrator Maria Christina Rivera has been named County Administrator, succeeding Sheryl Bratton who will be stepping down at the end of the month, Sonoma County officials announced today. The appointment is scheduled to be confirmed by the Board of Supervisors at its next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Rivera brings to the position more than 25 years of government experience including five years as Assistant County Administrator where she filled the role as operations manager directly or indirectly, supervising 40 staff within the County Administrator’s Office. Prior to 2017, Rivera served four years as Deputy County Administrator, overseeing the county’s budget and multi-year fiscal forecasts. Rivera also has served as Emergency Operations Director, has led numerous policy initiatives and represents county management during labor negotiations.

A native of Santa Rosa, Rivera will be the first Latina, bilingual County Administrator for the County of Sonoma. As the top executive in the county’s government, Rivera will oversee more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget of roughly $2 billion.

“Christina Rivera brings to the position extensive experience in finance, emergency operations and many of the county’s strategic priorities,” said Supervisor James Gore, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “We are so fortunate to have someone with Rivera’s policy experience, knowledge of county operations and commitment to our community to assume this critical leadership role.”

Rivera started with the County Administrator’s Office in 2006 where she began as a CAO analyst managing the county’s $165 million general fund non-departmental budget and Five-Year Capital Project Plan. She became a CAO Principal Analyst in 2012 before being promoted to Deputy County Administrator a year later.

Rivera was selected following an extensive nationwide search that began in early September and resulted in 45 applicants. The candidate pool was narrowed to the eight most qualified candidates who moved through stages of the interview process, which included an interview with a select panel of community and government leaders as well as interviews with county department heads and multiple rounds of interviews with the Board of Supervisors.

“I am humbled and very excited to engage with the county’s partners and with all the departments and agencies in continuing to deliver on the Board’s Strategic Plan objectives,” said Rivera. “Serving as the next County Administrator for this Board will be an honor given how this body has proven its dedication to our community’s well-being by investing in initiatives intended to preserve and/or improve our community’s quality of life.”

Rivera was born in Santa Rosa before her family relocated back to Mexicali, Baja California. She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexico and returned to Sonoma County shortly thereafter. Rivera’s tenure with the County of Sonoma began in 1996 as a management trainee. In 2001, she was promoted to Administrative Services Manager for the county’s Transportation & Public Works Department where she was responsible for managing the department’s $150 million budget as well as all administrative and human resources functions for the department.

Rivera serves on the Board of Directors for the Redwood Credit Union and resides in west Sonoma County where she and her husband raised two children, who are now adults. Her base annual salary will be $282,116. 


Media Information: 
Paul Gullixson, Communications Manager
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-1702