Leonard X. Hernandez, who began his career in 1998 as a part-time library assistant for the Chino Branch Library and rose through the ranks, has been appointed chief executive officer for San Bernardino County by the Board of Supervisors, effective today (Oct. 10).
Mr. Hernandez, who lives in Chino with his wife and five children, will succeed Gary McBride, who served as the county’s CEO for nearly three years and will remain as strategic projects director under a contract extension.
“Leonard Hernandez’ career trajectory is nothing short of a local success story,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “His work ethic, savvy, and vision for our community have set him apart in many ways as an effective leader and rising star.”
Mr. Hagman said Mr. Hernandez’ growth from library aid to CEO highlights that San Bernardino County is a place where young people can grow and thrive.
“It has been a wonderful journey,” Mr. Hernandez said. “I am blessed with a supportive family and a great place to live in the City of Chino.”
Mr. Hernandez, a former Chino Hills resident for eight years, worked for four years at the James S. Thalman Chino Hills Branch Library.
He was later manager of the Fontana Branch Library.
He honed his management skills as director of libraries at the City of Riverside before returning to San Bernardino County in 2010 as the county librarian.
In 2014, while still serving as county librarian, he served as interim museum director.
In 2015, he was promoted to deputy executive officer over the community services group that includes the county library and museum systems, Registrar of Voters, regional parks, county airports, and agriculture/weights and measures.
In 2016 Mr. Hernandez became the interim county chief operating officer and the following year was appointed chief operating officer.
In that role, he coordinated the county’s multi-departmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re very fortunate to have someone who knows the county as well as Mr. Hernandez does and I have every confidence his unique skill set and ability to solve problems will serve our county well,” Supervisor Hagman said.
“I am humbled by the confidence the Board of Supervisors has placed in me and grateful for the opportunity to lead this great county organization, which has been my professional home for so many years,” Mr. Hernandez said.
Mr. Hernandez has a bachelor’s degree in history from Cal State Fullerton and a master’s degree in library and information science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.