Guillermo Cespedes is a violence prevention and intervention expert with over 4 decades of experience at the community, municipal, national, and international level. Cespedes worked in Oakland for 19 years in direct services with families experiencing serious challenges of domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction and chronic illness.
In 1999 Cespedes moved to Los Angeles was appointed Deputy Mayor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD). During his tenure in LA, Cespedes guided the implementation of the city’s comprehensive gang violence reduction strategy, touted with reducing 9 categories of violent gang crimes by nearly 50%.
In 2014 Cespedes moved to DC, where he provided technical consultation to the State Department, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Bureau of International Drugs and Law Enforcement (INL) the United States Agency for international Development (USAID).
In 2016 Cespedes moved to Honduras as Deputy Chief of Party for USAID and using that as base of operations, guided the implementation and technical supervision of secondary and tertiary prevention to USAID funded programs in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, St Lucia, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis. In addition, he designed the adaptation and implementation of gang prevention strategies to the prevention of extremist group joining in Tunisia, North Africa.
In September 2019, Cespedes returned to Oakland for a unique position, to build and become the City of Oakland’s first Chief of the Department of Violence Prevention (DVP).