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John Dam Named Director of Human Resources for Santa Clara County

Collaboration, Innovation, Service-Driven Approaches Will Benefit County

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—The County of Santa Clara announced the appointment of John Dam as Director of Human Resources Department.  Dam has a public service career that spans over 20 years, the majority of which was in the field of Human Resources.

“We’re fortunate to have John as the new Director of Human Resources,” said Jeffrey V. Smith, County Executive.  He is joining us at a time when many County employees are eligible for retirement and we are instituting new policies to create a sustainable organization. His skills in collaboration and innovation, as well as his focus on customer and service, will be assets to the department.”  
In the past two years, Dam was Deputy Director for the City of San Jose Department of Finance, where he managed an insurance program for the $2.9 billion City properties consisting of the airport, sewage plant, sports arena, convention center and City Hall complex. Prior to that, Dam had been Deputy Director of Human Resources for the City with over 5,400 employees. There, he was responsible for employee development, recruitment, classification and compensation, risk management, and benefits.
“I am very honored to have the opportunity to work as the Director of Human Resources for Santa Clara County,” said Dam. “My focus will be to help the County to hire the best candidates and to help employees we already have to do their best.”
While working for the City of San Jose, Dam successfully developed the City Labor Alliance, comprised of City managers and labor unions, to work toward achieving mutual goals.  The partnership helped created a Public Private Competition Policy, which was recognized and used by American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations as a model for other cities.
Collaborating with City staff and unions, Dam also developed and implemented a model for organizational transformation that helped create a customer-driven organization.
Dam holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master of Business Administration Degree from University of California, Davis.
Dam has lived in Santa Clara County for 25 years.  He was married for 13 years to his late wife, Ann Dam.  His two sons are Robert and Max, 15 and 12 years of age.  His life has been governed by the philosophy: “Help people if you can.  If you cannot, don’t hurt them.”
Dam’s appointment as Director of Human Resources became effective October 15, 2013. The annual salary for the position is $142,484.
Media Contact:  Gwendolyn Mitchell/Lingxia Meng, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119
Posted: November 6, 2013