Sara Yousuf, (415) 603-9696 / Sara.Yousuf@sfgov.org
SAN FRANCISCO— Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announces that longtime San Francisco public servant Francis Chan has started as the District Attorney’s Office’s new Director of Community Affairs. Mr. Chan brings with him decades of experience in community organizing, particularly in the AAPI community. Mr. Chan is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English, and has worked as a translator in all three languages. As Director of Community Affairs, Mr. Chan will be providing victim services support and coordinating the Office’s community engagement, with a focus on San Francisco’s AAPI population.
“I am thrilled to welcome Francis Chan to our office, who brings years of experience working directly with the communities we serve,” said District Attorney Boudin. “His hiring expands on our office’s work to promote language access and cultural competency, and we are delighted that we will be able to better serve the needs of our Chinese-language community members and promote public safety for all San Franciscans.”
Mr. Chan moved to San Francisco in 1995 from Hong Kong, where he was born and raised. He has lived in San Francisco ever since, and has dedicated his career to building community, supporting vulnerable community members, and increasing cultural competency and language access for the AAPI community.
Mr. Chan’s career has spanned government, nonprofit, and business sectors. Most recently, he spent eight years as the Senior Program Manager for the City and County of San Francisco’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development, where he connected thousands of small businesses with vital city programs. In that role, Mr. Chan also oversaw Chinatown’s budget and programing, the Disaster Relief Program, and the Construction Mitigation Program.
Mr. Chan’s public service experience has included advocacy for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in San Francisco. He has facilitated more than twenty community input sessions centered around AAPI community needs and violence prevention. Mr. Chan also previously worked as Project Manager for the Community Youth Center of San Francisco, where he launched the Community Response Network – Asian Pacific Islanders (CRN-API), which provided crisis response, care management and street outreach services through AAPI community-based agencies. In addition, Mr. Chan also worked to assist vulnerable community members. He supported vulnerable youth through the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, where he oversaw the Youth Services Department. Mr. Chan also worked with the San Francisco Community Response Network to help provide immediate aftercare services to victims of violent crime and their families. While there, he also led school-based conflict mediation and violence de-escalation programming. Finally, Mr. Chan also obtained certification as a drug and alcohol counselor and has worked to support those struggling with addiction and mental health through the San Francisco Family Mosaic Project.
Mr. Chan also recently played a critical role in coordinating community responses to the COVID pandemic. In February of 2020, Mr. Chan led the Covid Command Center as the Lead of Community Outreach. In this capacity, Mr. Chan provided culturally-responsive safety messaging and supported vaccination implementation. Mr. Chan also directed and hosted a 36-episode Chinese television series for the Community Youth Center entitled “My Community: We Are All Pivoters” for Sky Link TV. The show served to educate parents and support families during the pandemic.
Mr. Chan obtained both a B.A. and an M.A. in Chinese Language from San Francisco State University. He is currently a PhD candidate at the California Institute of Integral Studies in Asian Philosophies and Cultures.
“Francis Chan’s extensive experience working with some of the most vulnerable members of the AAPI community will be an invaluable contribution to our Victim Service Division,” said Interim Chief of Victim Services, Kasie Lee. “Underreporting of crimes is a serious issue in the AAPI community due to both language and cultural barriers. Francis will play a critical role in ensuring that AAPI victims of crime are informed and empowered throughout the legal process while receiving linguistically appropriate and culturally competent services.”
Francis Chan echoed the enthusiasm about his new role. “I’m honored to join the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office under District Attorney Boudin’s bold leadership,” he said. “I believe that we must promote healing in our communities, which includes developing long-term solutions to empowering crime victims and our communities more broadly.”