New Chief of Staff and Undersheriff Named at County

Natalia Bravo and Kelly Martinez
County Chief of Staff Natalia Bravo and Undersheriff Kelly Martinez

The County of San Diego announces two new changes in high leadership positions.

Natalia Bravo will be the new Chief of Staff for Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer. Bravo succeeds Andrew Strong who was named as the first director for the Office of Equity and Racial Justice.

Sheriff Bill Gore appointed Assistant Sheriff Kelly Martinez to undersheriff. The position is opening because Undersheriff Mike Barnett is retiring after 29 years with the department.

Bravo has worked for the County for eight years and held a number of different positions including Labor Relations Technician for the Department of Human Resources, CAO Staff Officer and later CAO Project Manager.

She played roles in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic response, the reestablishment of the Human Relations Commission and the adoption of the countywide Language Access policy.

Prior to her stint at the County, Bravo worked for Mexico’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare as their Chief of Staff and Director of Public Policy for the Undersecretary of Labor General Labor Development Division. She was a key advisor on implementing the country’s Labor Law Reform Act and advised on the process of strategic planning and development of labor policies.

Her background also includes experience as a bilingual educator and trainer.

“With our region working to tackle some of the most urgent issues, that have no borders, her understanding of these current and future issues will be invaluable to all of us,” said Robbins-Meyer.

Sheriff Bill Gore announced the appointment of Assistant Sheriff Kelly Martinez to undersheriff in a news release Monday.

Martinez has worked in a variety of positions at the Sheriff’s Department since 1985. She rose through the ranks and became assistant sheriff in 2017.

“Kelly brings to the position exceptional work ethic and commitment to the mission of the department,” said Sheriff Gore. “I am confident her wealth of experience and passion for community outreach will keep San Diego the safest urban county in the nation.”

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact