Jolene Smith is the Chief Executive Officer of FIRST 5 Santa Clara County.
Since the passage of Proposition 10 in 1998, Jolene has been instrumental in establishing FIRST 5 as an organization that supports the healthy development of children prenatal through age five and enriches the lives of their families and communities throughout Santa Clara County. As the leader of the Early Childhood Development Collaborative in 1999, Jolene was responsible for developing the original county Strategic Plan that led to the creation of FIRST 5. In 2000, she served as the Director of Program Development, and worked her way up to Deputy Director, and eventually became the Executive Director in January 2005.
During her tenure as Chief Executive Officer, FIRST 5 has been recognized for its leadership on ensuring that the healthy development of our youngest children is viewed as a high priority in the county. Through her efforts, she has worked to engage and unite the community through strategic partnerships and collaborations to tackle challenging issues such as children’s health insurance, early literacy, high-quality early education, screening and assessment for developmental delays, model court programs, and a cross-disciplinary, cross-sector community of learning. Under her leadership, FIRST 5 has worked closely with policymakers and elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels to create the necessary change in our laws and in our politics to improve the lives of the people in the community.
Jolene’s 30 years of public service are based around her strong commitment and dedication to help people in need. As a high school youth counselor, a national trainer, and a Program Manager with the Santa Clara County Health and Hospital System and the Social Services Agency, Jolene has used her expertise in strategic planning, program development, and training and consultation, to ensure that children, youth, and their families receive vital social services.