Beatriz "BB" Otero, founder and chief executive of CentroNia, a multicultural learning center in Columbia Heights, will oversee a cluster of city agencies as the new deputy mayor for health and human services, according to two sources with knowledge of the appointment.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) is expected to name Otero, among other appointments, Friday. Otero founded CentroNia in 1986 in a church and served 15 children, according to the organization's Web site. It has grown to serve more than 3,000 children with expansion into Takoma Park and with a charter school.
Since taking office, Gray has revived the deputy mayor model that was abandoned by predecessor Adrian M. Fenty. Fenty scaled down the number of deputy mayors to two--one for education and another for planning and economic development. Gray has added two deputies-- one for health and human services and one for public safety and justice.
Otero will likely be considered an unorthodox choice since she is not a medical doctor and her background is stronger in education than social services. The native of Bolivia has a degree in education from the University of Maryland.