Department of Forensic Sciences

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Yi-Ru Chen, MPP, MA

Chief Operating Officer

As the Chief Operating Officer for DFS, Yi-Ru Chen oversees the Operations team, including resource allocation, contracting and procurement, human capital, health and safety, grants program, and information technology. Her responsibilities also include budget development and execution, policy and legislative affairs, and navigating District government operations. Ms. Chen was previously the Deputy Director for the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) and was instrumental in establishing the inaugural Homeland Security Commission.  Ms. Chen served in the Executive Office of the Mayor under two administrations in various senior level roles, including Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice and to the Interim City Administrator, and as Interim Director of Justice Grants Administration. In the Executive Office of the Mayor, Ms. Chen oversaw the budget and program development for public safety agencies and the District’s Consolidated Forensic Laboratory, was actively involved in the creation of the Office of Unified Communications and the development of the District’s State-designated Fusion Center. Ms. Chen also served a brief detail to the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President. Ms. Chen received a Master’s degree from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. As a Public Service Fellow, Ms. Chen completed a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, MA, and is a graduate of Smith College.