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A San Francisco native who was raised in Chinatown, Albert Ko joined Public Works in 1995 as a junior engineer. He progressed through the ranks, working on major capital projects, among them the San Francisco International Airport expansion, public safety buildings and recreation and park facilities. Since 2011, he served as manager of the Bureau of Construction Management in the Building Design and Construction Division. He starts in the new role on March 8, 2021.
"Throughout this pandemic, San Francisco has continued to invest in our infrastructure so that we wouldn't lose ground. We need to continue this progress over the coming years to help drive our economic recovery, create new jobs, and make San Francisco an even better place to live," said Mayor Breed. "I'm glad many of these efforts are going to be led by a native San Franciscan, and I'm confident that Albert Ko will help lead us forward in the coming years."
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Ko graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in civil engineering and a minor in city and regional planning. He began his engineering career at Caltrans before moving to Public Works. He is a licensed Professional Engineer.
In his new role, Ko will oversee specialized engineering and support teams that design sewers, streets, curb ramps, bridges and electrical systems; devise fixes to stabilize hillsides and control flooding; and work on a variety of other projects essential to the resiliency, safety and livability of a 21st-century urban environment. The infrastructure division also includes the permits bureau, street inspections, and mapping.
"Albert brings to his new role a deep well of experience delivering capital projects; an enduring passion to bring out the best in our employees; and an unyielding determination to bring positive change to San Francisco," said Acting Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinried. "He has demonstrable success on all three fronts that will continue to benefit the department and the City as we navigate budget challenges, recover from the COVID-19 health crisis, and rebuild public trust in our department in the wake of a corruption scandal."
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Ko has held leadership positions over the years with his union, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21. Outside of work, Ko volunteers as a volleyball and basketball coach with the Catholic Youth Organization and the San Francisco Unified School District. Raising four children with his wife, he also participates in the Girl Scouts and represents San Francisco in the California State PTA.
"The opportunity to serve the city where I was born and raised in this new leadership role at Public Works is a true honor," said Albert Ko. "I will work with resolve and a force of positive energy every day to make San Francisco a better place for our diverse communities to live, work and play."
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