William (Bill) Fujioka was born in 1952 and is a third generation Japanese-American whose grandparents immigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s. His family home was in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles until moving to Montebello in the late 1950’s. Bill attended public schools in Montebello, graduating from Montebello High School in 1970.
Bill’s grandfather, Fred Jiro Fujioka, was a very successful businessman who prior to WWII owned the largest Oldsmobile dealership west of the Mississippi. Bill’s father was a decorated war veteran who fought with the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII. The 100th/442nd was the most highly decorated combat units in the history of American military. Bill’s mother, Linda, received her teaching credential at the age of 50 and is still teaching school part-time at the age of 86.
Bill started his public service career in the early 1970’s as a custodian/gardener for the County of Santa Cruz while attending school at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC). In 2009, Bill was recognized as one of the top 45 graduates of UCSC. After graduating from college, Bill was hired in 1975 as a CETA administrative intern for the City of Los Angles and was assigned to LAPD. In 1978, he left the City and was hired as a rehabilitation counselor for the County of Los Angeles’ Department of Personnel. This was the beginning of a 19 year adventure that included jobs in the departments of Personnel, County Administrative Officer, Health Services, Public Health, and Human Resources. In these County departments, he held the job titles of examination analyst; appeals analyst; civil service advocate; personnel officer; personnel director; administrator, emergency and ambulatory care services; chief executive officer, coastal county health centers chief; hospital administrator; and, County chief executive officer. However, he has stated repeatedly that the only job title he held throughout his career was “public servant”.
In 1997, Bill left the County to become the Director of Personnel for the City of Los Angeles. In 1999, Mayor Richard Riordan appointed Bill to the position of City Administrative Officer (CAO). He held this position for 8 years and worked for Mayors Riordan, James Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa. During this same time period, he also worked with 34 members of the Los Angeles City Council. In February, 2007, Bill retired from the CAO position and public service.
In July, 2007, Bill reentered public service when he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to be the first Chief Executive Officer for the County of Los Angeles. In this capacity, he was responsible for the overall management of 30 of the County’s 37 departments, overseeing the County’s $27 billion budget and working with the County’s workforce of 105,000 employees. Working with the Board of Supervisors, Bill performed a key role in navigating through the many challenges presented by the Great Recession. The County survived this difficult period better than any other municipality or County government in the State and Nation
On November 30, 2014, Bill retired after 40 years in public service. He is married to Darlene Kuba and has a son named Jason who lives in San Jose.