LLA Cohort 2 Alumna
Zelica Rodriguez-Deams
Director, Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations

Zelica Rodriguez-Deams was appointed as the new Director for the Santa Clara County’s Office of Immigrant Relations (OIR) in June 2020.  Zelica was selected after an extensive and competitive recruitment process that included many excellent candidates.  Competitive as the process was, Zelica truly stood out as the right choice to represent and protect the interests of our county’s immigrant communities in these critical times.

Zelica has nearly 20 years of experience in the non-profit field as a community organizer, advocate and community builder.  Her prowess is in research and analysis, strategy development and program impact.  For the past 8 years, Zelica has served on the leadership team at SOMOS Mayfair, first as Director of Programs and then as Associate Director, designing a comprehensive program strategy that puts residents at the center of community change and transformation. She is both an internal and external thought partner, helping craft organizational vision and policies, facilitating strategic partnerships, and serving as a media spokesperson for immigration rights and policies.

Before joining SOMOS, Zelica served as the Director of Policy & Organizing for Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), where she developed and won advocacy campaigns to increase equity, access, resources and rights for immigrant families. She also led SIREN’s robust civic engagement strategy that resulted in a multi-language civic campaign to increase awareness of voter rights and responsibilities amongst the immigrant community.

Born in El Salvador, Zelica came to this country as a child.  She earned her Master’s in Political Science from San Francisco State University and her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Latin American and Latino studies from University of California, Santa Cruz.