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News Release —
Derek Johnson Takes Oath as Top County Executive

Novato native, named to replace recently retired Matthew Hymel, started April 29.
County Executive Derek Johnson, right, holds up his hand as he accepts the oath of office from Board Clerk Karla Kacmar.

Body of News Release

San Rafael, CA – Marin County native Derek Johnson raised his right hand and took an oath to serve as the new County Executive for Marin County during the May 7 Board of Supervisors session. 

Johnson, who has more than 25 years of local government management experience, was named County Executive in February to succeed longstanding top administrator Matthew Hymel, who retired at the end of March after 18 years in the role. The Supervisors confirmed Johnson’s appointment and introduced him during their February 27 meeting, and Johnson started his new role at the Civic Center on April 29.

Johnson, who spent his youth in Novato, will lead efforts to advance the Supervisors’ objectives and strategic plans while overseeing the County’s approximately $783 million budget and workforce of over 3,000 employees.

Several of his family members, former professional and business colleagues were on hand as Johnson took the oath from Assistant Clerk of the Board Carla Kacmar. 

”Continuing my public service career and helping lead Marin County is an incredible honor,” Johnson said. “I am humbled by the warm reception of the Board and County employees. I look forward to connecting to Marin County residents and understanding how we can best serve them.”

For the past 12 years, Johnson has been with the City of San Luis Obispo, where he served as City Manager for six years, and previously as Assistant City Manager and Director of Community Development. Prior to that, he worked as the Director of the Office of Long-Range Planning in Santa Barbara County’s Planning and Development Department, and 10 years as General Manager of Parks and Recreation in Goleta, CA. 

When Johnson’s new appointment was approved in February, Board President Dennis Rodoni said Johnson stood out among a competitive candidate pool because “he had the right combination of experience, innovation, and enthusiasm to be the next leader of the County.” The Board took particular notice of Johnson’s achievements in strategic areas of focus for Marin, including housing and homelessness, climate sustainability, disciplined fiscal management, capital improvements, and equitable services. 

Hymel announced in summer 2023 that he intended to retire. Dan Eilerman, Assistant County Executive, served as Interim County Executive during the transition. 


Page updated May 7, 2024