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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 02/ 4/2011

CentroNia founder to be named deputy mayor for health and human services

By Nikita R Stewart

Beatriz "BB" Otero, founder and chief executive of CentroNia, a multicultural learning center in Columbia Heights, will oversee a cluster of city agencies as the new deputy mayor for health and human services, according to two sources with knowledge of the appointment.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) is expected to name Otero, among other appointments, Friday. Otero founded CentroNia in 1986 in a church and served 15 children, according to the organization's Web site. It has grown to serve more than 3,000 children with expansion into Takoma Park and with a charter school.

Since taking office, Gray has revived the deputy mayor model that was abandoned by predecessor Adrian M. Fenty. Fenty scaled down the number of deputy mayors to two--one for education and another for planning and economic development. Gray has added two deputies-- one for health and human services and one for public safety and justice.

Otero will likely be considered an unorthodox choice since she is not a medical doctor and her background is stronger in education than social services. The native of Bolivia has a degree in education from the University of Maryland.

By Nikita R Stewart  | February 4, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Nikita Stewart, Vincent C. Gray  
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This is great news for the District. Otero brings years of on-the-ground hands-on experience supporting children and families combined with a huge amount of practical policy experience. Otero has been at practially every important policy table in the last 20 years -- child welfare, education and charter schools, family support, Healthy Families, the list goes on! Great choice, Mayor Gray!

Posted by: cbean2 | February 4, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't see why you would have to be a doctor to be in charge of Health and Human Services? I don't know this person, but she sounds like an excellent choice to me.

Posted by: tacard1 | February 4, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I think this is an outstanding choice. BB has done tremendous work with CentroNia and we can look forward to great things as she joins Mayor Gray's team!

Posted by: drose2 | February 4, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

agree with tacard.

Stewart's reporting will likely be considered unorthodox since she published her own baseless assertion about what people will think, without bothering to ask any informed sources for their views.

Posted by: hungrypug | February 4, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

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