Oakland Appoints Dr. Holly Joshi as New Chief of the Department of Violence Prevention

Oakland Appoints Dr. Holly Joshi as New Chief of the Department of Violence PreventionSource: City of Oakland
Nina Singh-Hudson
Published on November 21, 2023

Yesterday, the city of Oakland signaled a new chapter in public safety with the appointment of Dr. Holly Joshi as the permanent Chief of the Department of Violence Prevention (DVP). According to the City of Oakland news, Dr. Joshi's vast experience and insight in tackling Oakland's key issues resonate with the department's health-centered, community-led approach, introduced when the DVP was initially established in 2017.

Mayor Sheng Thao portrayed Dr. Joshi as "the right person at the right time" to lead the Department of Violence Prevention, as stated. She emphasized the need for strong violence prevention initiatives to cultivate a "robust, secure, and prosperous Oakland", per the City of Oakland. The appointment of new chiefs for the DVP and Fire Department reflects Oakland's commitment to inclusive public safety, integral to community well-being.

Prior to the DVP, Dr. Joshi held several leadership roles within the public and private sectors, interfacing with matters related to community safety, gender and racial equity, and violence prevention. A noteworthy role included her work as Senior Director at GLIDE, a national social justice center. Here, she guided the Center for Social Justice and directly addressed community issues.

On top of her experience with social justice groups, Dr. Joshi also has a history of strategic consulting for gender and racial equity projects in the Oakland and Greater Bay Areas. With the Bright Research Group, she led a group of community-focused research consultants. Her experience in youth development, violence prevention, and alternative community policing models drove change in various initiatives. Here, she first worked with the DVP as a chief consultant, leading to the creation of programs and strategies the department still prioritizes today.

Alongside being set to assume her role as the new permanent Chief of the Department of Violence Prevention on December 11, the City of Oakland persists in its commitment to cultivating safe and healthy communities through thorough public safety initiatives and support for community-led intervention strategies.