Honoring Mary C. Warren

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Mary C. Warren on August 6, 2016, following a long illness. Mary was one of Alameda County’s most active and dedicated public servants since moving to the county from Southern California more than 50 years ago. She made such a significant contribution to our nation and our county that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors proclaimed November 16, 2011 as ‘Mary C. Warren Day’.

After completing college in Southern California, she started her career in the U.S. Post Office in Beverly Hills and ascended to Superintendent of Finance, Main Office. She enlisted in the Navy and served four years active duty as a supply officer at the Aviation Supply Depot in Oakland, and spent another four with the reserves. From there, Mary settled on a career in government. She was appointed by President Kennedy to Deputy Director of Personnel for the US Post Office and co-authored the first labor contract and the first affirmative action proposal for the office. She stayed with the US Post Office throughout the Johnson Administration and was appointed to the Civil Rights Commission by President Johnson. When Nixon was elected, Mary returned to California.

In addition to her paid work, Mary gave generously of her time to causes she supported. She served on many organizations that are considered critical for the development and growth of Oakland, including City of Oakland Master Plan Committee, the Oakland Public Schools Master Plan Commission, and Oakland Parks Commission Advisory Board. In 1998, she joined the Board of Summit Bank as well as the Board for the Summit Bank Foundation. Mary was politically active and held numerous positions. She was a member of the Democratic National Committee, Vice Chair of the Democratic State Central Committee, and Chair of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee.

Mary served two terms as the first woman chairperson of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, presided over the Crestmont Neighborhood Association, was Vice President of the Coalition of Labor and Business of Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties. She was a founder of the Oakland Business Political Action Committee and served on the Coliseum Board of Directors. Her sports work has included work for the NFL and as one of the co-chairs for Superbowl XXIX in San Francisco. Until recently, Mary still served on the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) for the Coliseum and board of the One Hundred Club.

In acknowledgement for her tireless for improving our communities as well as her professional career, Mary was the recipient of many awards, including the American Diabetes Association in recognition of her service activities, the Superstar Award from the Summit Bank Foundation, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley’s Heroes Award for her contribution to the community, and the Distinguished Business Woman Award from the San Francisco Business Times.

In 2015, Alameda County DA Nancy E. O’Malley honored the commitment to public service that Mary Warren demonstrated over the course of her long life by establishing a fellowship in her name. The Mary C. Warren Fellowship develops strong young female leaders through a program of work experience, mentoring, and seminars. We couldn’t be more proud to have this worthy program bear her name, and have future generations of young women follow in her footsteps as one of the nation's most accomplished government professionals.

Vale Mary C. Warren.

Posted on Aug 11, 2016