Skip to main content

L.A. Appoints Its First Chief Heat Officer

Posted on 06/28/2022

Acting on a motion by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to create the position of Chief Heat Officer for the City of Los Angeles.  Los Angeles now joins the cities of Miami, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Monterrey, Mexico; Athens, Greece; Freeport, Sierra Leone; and Santiago de Chile in naming an officer to oversee the City’s response to extreme heat events.

As the City’s first Chief Heat Officer (CHO), the Council selected Marta Segura to concurrently serve as CHO and as Director of the City’s Office of Climate Emergency Mobilization (CEMO).  She is not only the City’s first CHO, but the first Latina/o to hold this position in the United States.  

The CHO will work with the  Departments of Planning, Emergency Management, Recreation and Parks, and Building and Safety, as well as with StreetsLA and the Department of Water and Power to prepare a Heat Action Plan containing an early warning system, interagency emergency response plan, and long-term strategies to reduce exposure.

“Extreme heat is the deadliest climate risk facing Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, author of the motion creating the position of CHO.  “Extreme heat can lead to heart-related illness such as heat exhaustion and heat strokes, and it can aggravate pre-existing conditions like diabetes and heart disease.  Since 2005, heat-related hospitalizations have increased, especially in the San Fernando Valley,” said Krekorian.

As global temperatures rise,  by mid-century L.A. is expected to experience five times more heat waves than it experiences now.  The frequency and intensity of heat waves will increase the risk of wildfires while also stressing the power grid and threatening public transit and other public infrastructure.