The San Francisco Ethics Commission at its meeting on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, announced that it has selected Mr. Patrick Ford to serve as its next Executive Director. Mr. Ford’s appointment follows the departure of Ms. LeeAnn Pelham who served as the Commission’s Executive Director from January 4, 2016, until January 23, 2023.
The Ethics Commission engaged the services of Berkeley Search Consultants who conducted a robust national search, reaching out to government ethics professionals across the country. Multiple qualified and experienced professionals were interviewed by the Commission, and Mr. Ford was ultimately identified as the right individual to lead the San Francisco Ethics Commission. Chair Yvonne Lee stated that, “The commission looks forward to continuing its work with this outstanding leader who has demonstrated his capabilities, excellence, and dedication to the mission and vision of the City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Ethics Commission.”
Mr. Ford first joined the Commission as a Policy Analyst in 2017 and later led the Commission’s Policy Division for four years as the Commission’s Senior Policy and Legislative Affairs Counsel. In this role, he led several major policy projects, including an overhaul of the City’s public campaign financing program and the development of regulations to govern the Commission’s advice process. He also supported all programs agency-wide to ensure that the Commission’s operations were in line with the law and carried out their intended purposes. Since 2022, he has led the Commission’s Enforcement Division as the Director of Enforcement. Under his leadership, the Enforcement Division has eliminated its case backlog, revamped the Commission’s probable-cause and hearing processes, and taken on increasingly more complex and impactful cases.
Prior to joining the City, Mr. Ford was a corporate attorney with the law firm DLA Piper, where he specialized in regulatory compliance and corporate governance, as well as contracts, venture capital financings and mergers and acquisitions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from UC Santa Barbara and earned his JD from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, where he was the valedictorian and a member of the Law Review.
“I am excited to lead the Ethics Commission and to carry out its crucial mission of ensuring integrity in San Francisco City government. Our agency is a nationwide leader in many respects, and I will seek to build upon the incredible progress our dedicated staff has made in recent years,” said Mr. Ford. He will assume his duties as the Executive Director starting next week on Monday, January 29, 2024.