Gena Castro Rodriguez is a psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice, adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and Chief of the Victim Services Division for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Dr. Castro Rodriguez received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sacramento State University, a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute for Integral Studies. Dr. Castro Rodriguez completed her doctoral internship at the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group Clinic. Her research interests include the areas of interpersonal trauma, the cycle of violence, delinquency and criminal behavior, victimology, gender responsive strategies and secondary trauma. Dr. Castro Rodriguez has taught at the University of San Francisco graduate counseling psychology program for eight years and teaches Trauma and Crisis among other courses.
Dr. Castro Rodriguez is currently the Chief of the Victim Services Division for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. She oversees the work with more than 9,000 victims of violent crime a year and teams including victim advocacy, California Victims of Crime Compensation, Restitution, and Mass Casualty. For more information on the Victim Services Division please visit the San Francisco District Attorney's Office website.
Dr. Gena Castro Rodriguez, Psy.D., LMFT
Strategic public health and wellness leader with 30+ years’ progressive experience serving diverse, marginalized & vulnerable communities, working across public health, criminal justice, social welfare, public policy, and clinical practice.
Psy.D., Clinical Psychology + MA, Clinical & Counseling Psychology and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
● Executive Leadership: As Chief of Victim Services & Parallel Justice Programs, Office of DA Chesa Boudin grew departmental budget to $6M, while increasing both staffing & number of clients served by 75% over four years; adept at developing & recommending policies; working city-wide to implement policies that help victims of crime.
● Visionary with Strong Implementation Skills: Created a Mass Casualty Program that will be rolled out to all 56 counties statewide; earlier, founded, grew & directed the Youth Justice Institute, serving 300+ youth annually.
● Operational Expertise: Adept at planning, organizing, directing, controlling & reviewing the operations of large departments and programs.
● Collaborative Manager: Skilled at supervising leadership, managers, institutional administrators, and staff with wide-ranging responsibilities, promoting the highest standards of interpersonal relations.
● Award-Winning Administrator: Won awards for excellence in work in Domestic Violence from the SFPD, “Outstanding Advocate in Human Trafficking” from National Council for Jewish Women, “Award for Excellence in Victim Services” from SF DA’s Office, “Women of the Year” from the SF Mayor’s Office (2015).
Developing Goals / Policies / Strategic Plans ♦ Managing Budgets ♦ Managing Resources ♦ Setting Goals & Measuring Performance ♦ Program Management ♦ Executive Leadership ♦ Political Awareness / Savvy ♦ Meeting / Exceeding All Goals for Quality, Timeliness, Productivity ♦ Training & Development ♦ Community Engagement / Relations ♦ Executive Reports ♦ Research, Analysis & Studies ♦ Executive Presence / Communications ♦ Mental Health ♦ Public Health ♦ Health Administration ♦ Disaster and Emergency Response ♦ Union & Non-Union Environments
Chief, Victim Services & Parallel Justice Program, Office of DA Chesa Boudin; San Francisco, CA; 2014-present
Provide executive leadership of organization committed to ensuring safety; helping victims of crime mitigate trauma of crime, navigate the criminal justice system and rebuild their lives. Increased budget to $6M, staffing by 75%, number of clients served 75% over (5) years. Served 9K+ clients in 2019, distributing $1.5M in victims of crime compensation and $950K in grants to community-based agencies.
● Develop public policies enhancing resources for crime victims, increasing public safety, engaging the most vulnerable.
● Restructured Division to accommodate rapid growth & services expansion; developed innovative services to meet emerging needs of victims including mass casualty response, community victim advocacy, specialized child response.
● Created Mass Casualty Program that has become a model statewide: CA Office of Emergency Services recently released $5.8M for all 58 CA counties to implement similar services.
● Appointed to city-wide collaborations / task forces: Mayor’s Anti-Human Trafficking Committee, Commercial Sexual Exploited Children Steering Committee, Child Advocacy Center Leadership Committee, SF Disaster Council, SF Sexual Assault Team, Judicial Council of CA Family & Juvenile Justice Counsel, SF Family Justice Council.
● Plan and organize all activities including victim advocacy, state victim of crime compensation, all activities of victims / witnesses and pre-sentencing assessment, analysis and reports for high-risk defendants.
● Develop and execute programing to strengthen service delivery, implement new programs addressing those exposed to violence, vulnerable populations, victimization prevention education, restorative and parallel justice programs.
● Provide education, information and resources to community, public and neighborhood groups to educate, develop collaborations, building inter-community relationships, advocate for prevention / treatment of criminal acts.
● Create, implement trauma-informed training for DA’s office, law enforcement agencies, community partners, service providers; present at conferences & events; publish on mental health, victimology, trauma, public safety.
● Developed and implemented dynamic and model program and services including:
● Community Advocacy Team - Victim Advocacy Team outstations in Bayview, Visitacion Valley, Mission, and Excelsior to address issues of trauma, high crime victimization, low engagement with criminal justice system.
● Child Advocacy Team - Victim Advocacy Team with focused training & supervision to respond to child, youth, young adult critical events: child abuse, human trafficking, community violence, mass violence events in schools.
Dr. Gena Castro Rodriguez, Psy.D., LMFT
Expert Witness & Consultant, San Francisco, CA 2012-2013
Served Sacramento Public Defender’s Office, Prison Law Office, SF Public Defender’s Office, National Girls Institute, National Center for Criminal Justice.
Founder, Executive Director, Youth Justice Institute; San Francisco, CA; July 2002-Sept. 2012
Founded, grew, led organization addressing the needs of system-involved youth so they transition into healthy adults, serving 300+ youth annually. Created and carried out all organizational policies and operations. Supervised management team, 30 line staff, 80+ volunteers. Managed $750K+ budget. Taught, wrote, and presented at service and policy forums.
● Guaranteed organization was fiscally sound, sustainable; lead grant writer for foundation, state & federal grants.
● Leveraged data-driven decision-making to develop, execute direct services & policies helping system-involved youth.
Girls’ Program Director, Team Up for Youth; Oakland, CA; 2001-2002
Created grant guidelines, RFPs, grant application process and managed contracts for sports grants; supervised three pilot-funded programs; developed learning network of grantees. Crafted gender-specific technical assistance for grantees, coaches, programs, community. Researched programs, analyzed studies of adolescent girls, created tools for assessment of girls programs.
Youth Services Director, Mission Neighborhood Center; San Francisco, CA; 1997-2000
Oversaw Dept. of Youth Services organization at three sites. Created policies & procedures, plus evaluations for programs, staff; drafted monthly, quarterly, yearly reports for funders, Executive Director, Board. Managed 23 staff, and 4 managers.
● Developed, oversaw department & program budgets; managed all fundraising, City, State, Federal grants.
● Created, executed social service & recreation programs: youth employment, after school child care, education, case management, female-focused services; HIV, STD, pregnancy prevention programs.
Recreation Coordinator, City of Watsonville; Watsonville, CA; 1995-1997
Senior Counselor, Palomares Treatment Home for Youth; Santa Cruz, CA; 1994-1995
Child Care Worker, Children’s Receiving Home; Sacramento, CA; 1991-1994
Adjunct Professor, Counseling Psychology Graduate Program, University of San Francisco; 2012-present
Adjunct Professor, Counseling Psychology Graduate Program, Holy Names University; Oakland, CA; 2013-2014
Assoc. Prof., Community Mental Health Grad Program, CA Inst. for Integral Studies; SF, CA; 2008-2014
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Private Practice San Francisco, CA; 2012-present
Private practice for individual, couples and family therapy.
Grief Recovery Method Specialist Certification, The Grief Recovery Institute; 2018
Expert Clinical Consultant in Trauma, Annie E. Casey Family Programs; Oakland, CA; 2013-2014
Clinical Supervisor, Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc.; San Francisco, CA; 2014
Clinical Supervisor, Community Works West, San Francisco, CA; 2013-2014
Pre-Doctoral Intern, San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group and Training Clinic; 2012-2014
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (Intern 05-11), Youth Justice Institute; San Francisco, CA; 2005-2012
Psychology Trainee, CIIS Psychological Services Center; San Francisco, CA; 2010-2011
Marriage & Family Therapy Intern, Youth Justice Institute; San Francisco, CA; 2005-2009
Marriage & Family Therapy Trainee, San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department; San Francisco, CA; 2004-2005
Education & Professional Development
Psy.D., Clinical Psychology, California Institute for Integral Studies; 2014
MA, Clinical Psychology, California Institute for Integral Studies; 2011
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, BBS #49717; 2011
MA, Counseling Psychology, University of San Francisco; 2005
BA, Psychology, Sacramento State University; 1992
Member, District Attorney of Los Angeles George Gascon Admin. Transition Team, LA, CA; 2020
Co-Chair, Close Juvenile Hall Mental Health Sub-Committee; San Francisco , CA ; 2019-present
Member, Family Violence Council Member; San Francisco, CA; 2014-present
Member, Mayor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking; San Francisco, CA; 2014-present
Appointed to California Judicial Council, Family and Juvenile Law Committee; 2018-present
Appointed to SF Board of Supervisors, Safer Schools Task Force; San Francisco, CA; 2016-2017
Board Member, Legal Services for Children; San Francisco, CA; 2014-2016
Member, Latina Researchers Network; 2014
Expert Consultant, Prison Law Center, California Girls Justice Project; 2009-2013
Member, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists; 2003-2012
Member, National Latina/o Psychological Association; 2012
Executive Committee Member, California Endowment, State Juvenile Justice Policy Board; 2012
Committee Member, Gender Responsive Strategies Committee for California, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; 2008-2012
Advisory Board Member, UC Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice Statewide Juvenile Justice Committee; 2008-2010
Certified Court Appointed Special Advocate; San Francisco, CA; 2006
Executive Committee Member, Juvenile Delinquency Alternatives Initiative, San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department; 2003-2005
Girls Task Force Member, Delinquency Prevention Commission, City of San Francisco, Office of Mayor Willie Brown; 2002-2003
Committee Member, National Parks Conservation Association Diversity Program; 1999-2003
Board Member, Center for Young Women’s Development; San Francisco, CA; 1998-2003
De La Rue, L., Ortega, L. and Castro Rodriguez, G. (2019). We Are Humans Too: Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Victim Advocates. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Bass, P. and Castro Rodriguez, G. (2018). Burnout: Pediatrician, Heal Thyself. Modern Medicine Network. Contemporary Pediatrics.
Castro Rodriguez, G. (2014). Trauma and Delinquency: A Qualitative Study of the Relationship Between Sexual Trauma and Juvenile Delinquency for African American and Latina Girls. (Doctoral Dissertation). California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA.
Castro Rodriguez, G. (2011). LGBTQ Girls in the Juvenile Justice System- Discrimination, Alienation and Marginalization. UC Davis Journal of Law & Policy. Vol.15:2. P. 427-434. Spring 2011.
Brown, E. Castro Rodriguez, G. Smith, A. (2011). 100 Girls: A Look at the Strengths, Challenges and Outcomes for
Young Women in the System. Youth Justice Institute, San Francisco, CA.
Castro Rodriguez, Gena & Feinstein, Maggie (2009).Strength, Empowerment and Collaboration, A call to action for
system involved young men. Youth Justice Institute, San Francisco, CA.
Castro Rodriguez, G. & Feinstein, M. (2008). Addressing the Needs of Detained Young Women. IMPACT, vol. 2 number 2, Fall 2008.
Castro, G. (2003). Girls on the Edge: An Overview of Girls in the Juvenile Justice System.UWBA.San Francisco
Award for Excellence in Victims Services, SFDA’s Office, San Francisco; 2018
Certificate of Merit and Appreciation for Work in Domestic Violence, San Francisco Police Department; 2015
Certificate of Honor, San Francisco Police Department Crisis Intervention Team Faculty; 2015
Mental Health Services Act Community Mental Health Scholarship; 2012
Baumann Foundation Research Scholarship; 2012
Gender Justice Award, University of San Francisco President’s Advisory Committee; 2012