About Shirlee

Shirlee Zane has served as Sonoma County Third District Supervisor since January 2009. Her accomplishments include providing strong, effective leadership on health and safety issues, being a champion for the SMART Train and the environment, and safeguarding Sonoma County’s budget and economy in tough times.

Before election to the Board of Supervisors, she spent nine years as the Chief Executive Officer for the Council on Aging, a $3.5 million private nonprofit corporation that provides 12 different programs for seniors countywide through its Senior Meals Program, Legal Services and Social and Financial Services.


Her varied career in public service spans 25 years working in human services as a family therapist, minister, hospital chaplain, special education instructor, inner-city social worker and Executive Director. She is the former Executive Director of Hospital Chaplaincy Services and has been a committee member for numerous hospital boards and committees, including work on bioethics, patient quality review, and institutional review.

Shirlee holds two Masters Degrees; an M.A. in Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Chicago, IL, and an M.A. in Family Counseling from Sonoma State University.

She has worked and lived abroad in Caracas, Venezuela, and speaks fluent Spanish. She has earned recognition for her community service including the Community Service Award in Education from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Sonoma County for her work in the Latino community. The United Way of Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties awarded Shirlee and the Council on Aging the Community Impact in Advocacy Award for her advocacy efforts on behalf of seniors. Shirlee won the Leadership Award from the Sonoma County Medical Association for her work to increase Medicare reimbursements (2005) and the Reverend Coffee Human Rights Award from the Sonoma County Commissions Office in December 2005.


Shirlee has published guest editorials in The Press Democrat, as well as in several other Sonoma County publications.   She has presented workshops at the California Area Agency on Aging Conference and at the 2004 National Council on Aging Conference.
She has served on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the City of Santa Rosa ADA Advisory Committee and the Santa Rosa Junior College Human Services Committee. Additionally, Shirlee is a former Commissioner on the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women. She has been on the boards of the Sonoma County Cultural Arts Council, Southwest Community Health Care Center and United Way of Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties.  She was a 2006-2007 Fellow for the Women’s Policy Institute of California.


In her spare time Shirlee enjoys travel, cooking, hiking, writing and oil painting.  She has three children and twin grandchildren.