Term: February 1, 2020 to February 1, 2026
(Appointed by the City Attorney)
Noreen Ambrose was appointed a deputy city attorney in 1983. She advised the City Administrator’s Office and the Planning Commission until 1997, and then was appointed General Counsel to the Port Commission from 1997 to 2006, and as Utilities General Counsel to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission from 2006 to 2017.
In addition to managing those Commissions’ legal affairs, she handled a variety of projects, including the 1984 Democratic Convention contracts, the first Mission Bay development agreement, the Port’s Waterfront Land Use Plan, the historic renovation of the landmark Ferry Building and other piers, and the recent $4.6 billion capital improvement of the dams, tunnels and pipelines of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.
Following her retirement in 2017, Ambrose was appointed by City Attorney Dennis Herrera to the San Francisco Ethics Commission in May 2018 to fill a vacancy on the Commission through January 2020. She was reappointed by the City Attorney to serve a full six-year term beginning February 1, 2020.
Noreen Ambrose graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Urban Studies, summa cum laude, and was awarded a joint Juris Doctorate and Masters of City and Regional Planning from the University of California Berkeley and Hastings College of the Law. Commissioner Ambrose was elected by the Commission to serve as Vice Chair for 2019, and in early 2020 she was elected to serve as Commission Chair through February 2021.
Term: February 16, 2018 to February 1, 2024
(Appointed by the Mayor)
Yvonne Lee was appointed by the late Mayor Edwin M. Lee in August 2017 to complete the remaining term of former Ethics Commissioner Beverly Hayon. In February 2018, Commissioner Lee was reappointed to a full six-year term by Mayor Mark Farrell for a term ending February 1, 2024. In early 2020, she was elected by the Commission to serve as Vice-Chair through February 2021.
Commissioner Lee served as a Presidential appointee as Regional Advocate to lead region 9 of the Office of Advocacy for the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2011 to 2017. In that capacity she represented the voice of small businesses in federal government and engaged with small business stakeholders to address their regulatory concerns, particularly with innovative entrepreneurialism. She has also advised non-governmental organizations, government, and the private sector on policy and strategic development and community engagement with data and opinion research analysis, media and community outreach.
From 1995 to 2001, Commissioner Lee was a Presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Investigative reports conducted during her term as a Civil Rights Commissioner included economic and health disparities among women and minorities, use of force and administration of justice, church burnings and hate crimes, and Native Hawaiian self-determination.
She also served as National Director from 1988 to 1993 for the Chinese American Citizens Alliance in San Francisco, where she administered membership activities and chapter operations for the national civil rights organization, testified before Congress, and developed legislative platforms for membership adoption. She also has experience in the non-profit sector in San Francisco, working on housing issues as Project Director for the Pineview Housing Corporation and serving as Housing Program Director for Self Help for the Elderly.
Commissioner Lee previously served on the San Francisco Police Commission. She was an Inaugural Fellow of the Asian Pacific American Women Leadership Institute, and served as a Fellow at the Gallup Executive Leadership Institute. She was a co-founder and co-chair of the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Reapportionment. She holds a BS in Health Education from the University of California, Davis.
Term: April 21, 2016 to February 1, 2022
(Appointed by the Assessor-Recorder)
Daina Chiu has been a San Francisco resident for over 15 years. Chiu previously worked for McKesson Corporation where she was instrumental in designing and establishing the company’s first compliance training program, in addition to providing advice on a wide range of healthcare regulatory, privacy, ethics hotline, corporate, and antitrust matters. Prior to McKesson, Chiu was in private practice where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate and financial matters. Chiu earned a Juris Doctor degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at University of California, Berkeley. She also graduated summa cum laude with bachelor degrees in Chinese Language & Literature and English Literature from University of California, Berkeley. Commissioner Chiu was elected to serve as the Commission’s Chair for 2018 and 2019.
Fern M. Smith
Term: February 1, 2019 to February 1, 2025
(Appointed by the District Attorney)
Hon. Fern M. Smith (Ret.) has served as a Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, settling and adjudicating complex cases involving a wide range of issues, and as a Superior Court Judge in the County of San Francisco. Judge Smith also served as Director of the Federal Judicial Center – the primary training and educational institute for federal judges – where she was one of the primary editors of the MCL 4th (Manual of Complex Litigation). She has served as a Mediator and Arbitrator with JAMS and combines 30 years of distinguished judicial and legal experience with her unique ability to bring about the successful resolution of complex, multi-party matters.
Judge Smith has also served as a trainer and facilitator on judicial administration and reform with judges in India, Egypt, Bolivia, Mexico, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan, Greece, Italy, Russia, Morocco, Thailand, China, Turkey, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Bahrain emphasizing commercial dispute resolution and case management procedures. In her 17 years on the Federal Bench, Judge Smith presided over every case type within federal jurisdiction.
Judge Smith is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University and holds a JD from Stanford Law School.
Term: June 25, 2020 to February 1, 2023
(Appointed by the Board of Supervisors)
Larry Bush was appointed to the Ethics Commission in June 2020 to complete a term ending in February 2023. He served on the General Obligation Bond Oversight Committee from 2015 to 2019 by appointment by the Civil Grand Jury where he focused on housing bonds and city audits. He was appointed to the 2013-14 Civil Grand Jury by the court where he focused particularly on city ethics policies and performance. He made his home in San Francisco beginning in 1984 when then-assemblyman Art Agnos named him to his staff with a focus on the AIDS/HIV epidemic. Mayor Agnos named him to his mayoral staff from1988-92. He was a columnist for the Hearst SF Examiner from 1992-95. In 1995-2010 he was the Public Affairs Officer for HUD for California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. He was named by HUD’s Secretary and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to a Las Vegas task force to make recommendations on the foreclosure crisis. He also served as the Freedom of Information Officer for those states.
He was a co-founder of Friends of Ethics that led successful ballot measures on ethics transparency and accountability. His writing and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Washington Post, New York Times, SF Chronicle, SF Examiner and many other media outlets, His work has been recognized with awards from media organizations, community-based organizations and national organizations and has been an invited speaker in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Dallas, Columbus, and New Orleans.