Santa Clara County / CALIFORNIA
County of Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D., has appointed Martha Wapenski to the position of Deputy County Executive. Wapenski brings more than 28 years of experience working with the County’s law and justice departments. The appointment is effective May 23.
“Martha’s extensive public safety and justice experience and her compassion for the underserved will be a tremendous asset to both County Administration and the services that are critical to the welfare of our community and clients,” Smith said.
Wapenski’s public service career with the County of Santa Clara spans nearly 30 years. She brings a solid background in central administrative functions to her new role, including personnel, budget, accounting, information technology, and contract management.
“My goal is to partner with the County’s public safety and justice agencies and community stakeholders in pursuing sustainable solutions for effective reforms among the County’s custodial population,” Wapenski said. “I am very excited about bringing my passion for helping the underserved along with my administrative experience to serve the County and the community.”
Wapenski has served as the Director of Administrative Services for the Office of the Sheriff since 2007. She has coordinated department services related to jail reforms in the areas of corrections and facilities and worked closely with custody health management to address service gaps. She directed fiscal operations and managed department-wide financial and administrative functions in the County’s third largest department, including $61 million in contracts/service agreements.
From 2002 to 2007 she served as a Principal Budget and Public Policy Analyst in the County Executive’s Office, monitoring multiple departmental budgets totaling $230 million and 2,000 positions, and analyzing and developing recommendations related to legislation and State/Federal budget impacts.
She spent the first ten years of her career working directly with inmates in the jail and court systems. Before joining the County, she served the neediest members of the community as a house manager at a homeless shelter, a counselor in a group home for abused teenagers, and as a respite worker at a center for the developmentally disabled.
Wapenski holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from San Jose State University. She has two adult children who are attending college. She is committed to wellness and healthy aging, especially among the underserved. She volunteers for both the American Red Cross as a CPR Instructor and for Stanford University’s Healthy Aging and Research Technologies Lab.