William Kelly

LecturerBill Kelly
M.P.A. San Jose State University, 2014

Office: Clark Hall 404B

Office Phone: (408) 924-5542
Email: william.kelly@sjsu.edu

William Kelly, MPA has been involved in public service throughout his life. He began his
public service career as a volunteer reserve firefighter before being hired full-time by the
Santa Clara Fire Department in 1984. He steadily rose through the ranks until appointed
Fire Chief in January 2012.
During his tenure as a senior public administrator, William developed the fire department
into an innovative and strategic minded organization. From achieving international
accreditation from the Center for Fire Accreditation International to increasing community
readiness for large-scale emergencies through the Office of Emergency Services, William
enhanced public safety for the Santa Clara community. He also led the fire department’s 5-
year strategic plan (2017-2021) to align with City Council goals and completed a detailed
Standards of Cover process, which produces data to effectively analyze risk and align
resources to adequately provide fire services to the community. He effectively incorporated
the use of social media to enhance risk and crisis communication throughout the local

William is a proud SJSU Spartan, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics in
1989, and a Masters of Public Administration degree in 2014, where he was awarded the
Robert G. Smith Memorial Award for research excellence, and the Outstanding Student
Award from the Political Science Department. His graduate studies proved valuable in his
role as a public administrator, especially when working with city staff to construct and
operate Levi’s Stadium, a new professional football entertainment venue that opened in
2014. William was instrumental in planning the security and emergency management plan
for Super Bowl 50, which was held in Santa Clara in 2016. He served as a subject matter
expert for the Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Authority during the development and
implementation of a countywide digital public safety communication system. William also
served as Vice Chair of the Santa Clara County Emergency Operational Area Council, an
organization focused on enhancing emergency preparedness throughout Santa Clara
County. He is a past president of the Santa Clara County Fire Chiefs Association.