Oakland, CA – Oakland City Administrator Ed Reiskin today announced the appointment of Emylene Aspilla as the City’s new Director of Workplace & Employment Standards (DWES), effective September 19th. In this role, Ms. Aspilla will oversee the enforcement of the City’s worker protection laws and ensure equity in the City’s procurement of goods and services.
“I am delighted to welcome Emylene to the City of Oakland’s executive leadership team,” said City Administrator Ed Reiskin. “Emylene is passionate about public service and has dedicated her career to addressing economic inequities by expanding access to quality jobs and contracting opportunities. Her background and expertise in promoting economic equity and in leveraging government regulation to build resilient and inclusive communities will stimulate the fair and equitable inclusion of Oakland businesses, workers, and residents.”
Ms. Aspilla comes to the City of Oakland after a decade working for the City and County of San Francisco, where she served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and mostly recently as the Director of Social Responsibility for the San Francisco International Airport. At the airport, Ms. Aspilla led the Airport’s workforce and small business development programs and oversaw the implementation and enforcement of the Quality Standards Program (QSP), an aviation industry-leading initiative that establishes training, equipment, and compensation and benefits standards for employees of airlines and service providers. She served as the Airport’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Liaison Officer, increasing small business certification and the participation of both local and small businesses in the Airport’s capital projects and concession opportunities. Prior to working for the City and County of San Francisco, Ms. Aspilla led a variety of public/private partnerships, working with diverse constituents and stakeholders at San Francisco community-based organizations Jewish Vocational Service, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Episcopal Community Services.
An Oakland resident, Ms. Aspilla said, “I am excited to join the City’s leadership team and support Oakland’s groundbreaking initiatives to address growing income inequality that has been leaving many low-wage workers and small businesses behind. I look forward to working collaboratively with community stakeholders and the talented and dedicated DWES team to ensure our City’s workers and small businesses thrive and fully benefit from Oakland’s robust and diverse economic infrastructure.”
Ms. Aspilla completed her undergraduate and graduate work in Toronto, Canada and is a two-time Aspen Institute Fellow where she worked on advancing sector-driven workforce development and job quality with the Economic Opportunities Program. Ms. Aspilla was recognized by SPUR as a 2020 Good Government Award Honoree for her work on recruitment and retention of front-line workers at the San Francisco International Airport.
Mr. Reiskin also expressed his appreciation to Mary Mayo Mayberry, who has served as Interim Director of DWES. “I am deeply grateful to Mary for her sound and steady leadership, her integrity, and unwavering professionalism leading the department through the transition, and for her significant contributions to the department and the City over many years of public service.”