Yvonnia Brown, Ed.D, MSW

Yvonnia Brown

In January 2020, Yvonnia Brown was appointed as the Merced County Human Services Agency Director, where she oversee approximately 670 employees and an operational budget over $700 million dollars. In addition, Yvonnia assisted Merced County with expanding the community homeless housing capacity and service delivery system by creating the housing conceptual framework. Additionally, Yvonnia assisted with creating a grant management and policy process that secured over $10M to support a new Navigation Center and expand distributive housing throughout the county. These two projects added over 150 beds for the homeless community.

Over the 28 years, Yvonnia has had the honor and privilege to serve in various leadership roles in the Health and Human Services sector. During that time, Yvonnia has a proven record of building high performance organizations and leaders. She worked in the health and human services sector (county, regional and state level), nonprofit management, government and business. From 2016-2018, I was appointed as the President-Elect, President and Past-Present of the County Behavioral Health Director Association (CBHDA) of California. The purpose of CBHDA is to collaborate with State leaders and Legislators, to advocate for statewide system improvements, state contract amendments, public policy changes and appropriation.

Prior to my appointment, I was as Merced County Behavioral Health Director; during which time, my team achieved a 97% Medicaid compliance rate, which was a historic milestone for the organization and county. This achievement was accomplished by developing a strategic system improvement roadmap that consists of reengineering business processes and staffing patterns. In 2016, the agency embarked on the $35 million building remodel project which was over 90,000 square feet, and designed to co-locate adult behavioral health services, administration and a new16-bed crisis residential unit (CRU). The CRU project was a six-county regional collaborative partnership that was the largest regional collaborative building project for the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA). In 2018, I received the esteemed Behavioral Health Leadership Award from Mental California.

Since 1998, I’ve been blessed to have a luxurious Executive Leader career, which allowed me the opportunity to engage with local, state and federal government officials, to develop public policies and participate in State strategic planning workgroups. As a leader, I managed an operational budget as large as $2 billion that funded over 2500 positions. In addition, I developed expertise in organizational change and leadership, system re-design/re-engineering, fiscal and human resource management, strategic planning, program and policy development, data analysis, quality assurance and performance management, public relations and marketing. I created a culture of leadership, collaboration, and accountability amongst the employees and stakeholders that was based on shared values and individual and collective strengths.
I received a doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership (OCL) from University of Southern California (USC). In addition, I have a Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina, and bachelor degree in Social Work from Benedict College.

In conclusion, after two decades as an executive leader, I am still extremely passionate about creating transformative and revolutionary leaders and organizations; as well as, seeing individuals achieve euphoria because he/she has met or exceeded their professional goals. Furthermore, I believe the professional knowledge and skills I gleaned over the years, is not to be contained, but to be shared with current and aspirational leaders.


Return to Staff Directory