Rita Fernandez

@ Executive Director, Office of Immigrant Affairs, City of San Diego

Rita Fernandez currently serves as Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, an office created by Mayor Todd Gloria to continue advancing San Diego’s welcoming policies. She previously served as Director of Global Affairs for Mayor Todd Gloria, overseeing all international affairs issues for the City of San Diego, including its relationships with the City of Tijuana and Baja California, and other global ties.
Prior to this role, Rita was appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to serve as the first Immigrant Affairs Manager for the City of San Diego in 2019, after the City launched its Welcoming San Diego Strategic Plan, where she was tasked to evaluate the many recommendations in the plan and put together a path forward for city implement this plan.
Prior to that, she was Associate Director in Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Before joining the Immigrant Affairs office for the City of Los Angeles, Rita was part of Mayor Garcetti’s communications office where she worked on immigration, education, labor, and sustainability issues.
Prior to working in Mayor Garcetti’s office, Rita served in the Washington, DC office of Congressman Juan Vargas, who represents both San Diego and Imperial Counties. Rita worked closely with immigration and border issues, given that Rep. Vargas represents the only congressional district on the U.S./Mexico border in California. During her time as a Press Aide to Rep. Vargas, Ritacoordinated media operations in the office and also managed a policy portfolio on women’s issues.
Rita was born and raised in the city of Chula Vista in southern San Diego County and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. In 2010, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of San Diego.