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Ms. Joanne Hayes-White

Fire Chief SFFD, retired

Joanne Hayes-White, a proud native San Franciscan, graduated from St. Stephen Elementary School, Mercy High School and the University of Santa Clara with a Bachelor of Science in Business Commerce. She joined the San Francisco Fire Department in April 1990. After rising through the ranks, she was sworn in as the 25th Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department in 2004 by then Mayor Gavin Newsom. San Francisco became the largest urban Fire Department in the world with a female Chief. Chief Hayes-White oversaw a Department of 1,800 members and an operating budget of $400 million. After serving the Department for over 29 years and having the longest tenure as Chief, she retired in May 2019. In 2018, Chief Hayes-White was recognized by the International Fire Chiefs (IAFC) as Fire Chief of the Year.

In June 2019, Joanne was appointed by Governor Newsom to the State of California Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun. Joanne currently serves on the Public Safety Officers’ Medal of Valor Review Board, the Advisory Board for Little Sisters of the Poor and the Advisory Board of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco. She is a former Board member of the American Red Cross-Bay Area Chapter and Mercy High School.

Joanne is the proud mother of three sons, Riley, age 27, Logan, age 23, and Sean, age 21.

Return to Medal of Valor Review Board

Date Created: October 8, 2020