Chief Forensic Pathologist

  • Alameda County
  • Oakland, California
  • Dec 17, 2023
Full Time Administration and Management Criminology and Forensics Public Health
  • Salary: $161.89 - $196.71/hour; $336,731.20 - $409,156.80/year USD

Job Description


The Alameda County Coroner's Bureau is located in the Oakland hills which serves a population of 1.6 million people and is currently the 7th most populous county in the state of California. The Coroner's Bureau is the Regional Mutual Aid Coordinator for California's Region II (16 counties) whose responsibility includes the coordination of intra- and inter-regional mutual aid in large scale events.

The Coroner's Bureau shares a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility with the Alameda County Crime Laboratory and Alameda County Public Health Department. When fully staffed, the Coroner's Bureau operates with six full-time Morgue Technicians, three Forensic Pathologists, a Chief Forensic Pathologist, and additional locum tenens Forensic Pathologists. The Coroner's Bureau also has an in-house board-certified neuropathologist and is staffed with ABMDI-certified Death Investigators. The Coroner's Bureau has access to forensic anthropology and odontology services and multiple contracted toxicology services.

The Coroner's Bureau receives death notifications and performs investigations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Autopsies are normally performed Monday through Friday, excluding most holidays. However, occasional situations requiring a pathologist to conduct an autopsy outside of normal business hours or visit a death scene may arise.

Under general direction, to serve as the primary medical advisor to the Sheriff/Coroner or his/her designee, for cases under the jurisdiction of the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau; to perform professional level, forensic medical evaluation and analysis involved with determining the cause, manner and circumstances of death and injuries sustained by deceased persons; to develop forensic evidence for use in legal proceedings; to testify and serve as an expert witness in concerning findings; to administer and manage the operations in the morgue; and organize, manage and coordinate all forensic medical activities at the Coroner's Bureau. The Chief Forensic Pathologist is licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in the State of California and is certified by the American Board of Pathology to practice forensic pathology. This is a single position class located in the Coroner's Bureau, reporting to the Sheriff/Coroner or his/her designee.

For more information about the job classification, visit: Chief Forensic Pathologist (#5149) .

In addition to meeting the minimum qualifications listed below the ideal candidate will exhibit the above qualities as well as possess the following critical attributes:

  • A successful team builder - Uses appropriate interpersonal styles to help build a cohesive team and accomplish the team's goals.
  • Effectively maximizes personnel resources - Allocates tasks and responsibilities to maximize the individuals' and organization's effectiveness.
  • Commits to one's work - Demonstrates a willingness to commit one's time and best efforts to accomplishing organizational goals.
  • Approaches change positively - Maintains effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work responsibilities or environment.
  • Operates with integrity - Interacts with others in a way that gives them confidence in one's intentions and those of the organization.
  • Maintains focus under pressure - Exhibits stable performance under stress or opposition.
  • Maintains an exceptional level of quality - Accomplishing tasks by considering all areas involved, accurately checks processes and tasks.
  • Excels in technical knowledge and skill - keeps up with current developments and trends in the field of forensic pathology.
  • Communicates effectively - Clearly conveys information and ideas.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is a full service law enforcement agency accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) for its law enforcement services, its Regional Training Center, and its Dispatch Unit; the American Correctional Association (ACA) for its Detentions and Corrections Division; the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board for its Crime Lab; the Bomb Squad Commanders Advisory Board for its Explosive Ordinance Unit. Additionally, the agency's health care provider, Wellpath, has experience working with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).

The Sheriff's Office has a currentbudget of approximately $600 million and has over 1700 authorized positions, including in excess of 1000 sworn personnel. The agency's Chief Executive Officer is Sheriff / Coroner Yesenia L. Sanchez, who is assisted in the operation of the agency by Undersheriff April Luckett-Fahimi, Assistant Sheriffs Emmanuel Christy and Daniel McNaughton.
The Sheriff of Alameda County is responsible for a vast array of tasks and duties, including the following:
  • Providing security to the Consolidated Superior Courts
  • Operating the Coroner's Bureau
  • Operating a full-service criminalistics laboratory
  • Performing Civil Process
  • Operating a County Jail (Santa Rita)
  • Operating the County Office of Emergency Services
  • Providing patrol and investigative services to the unincorporated areas of Alameda County
  • Pursuant to contractual agreements, providing patrol and investigative services to the City of Dublin,Oakland International Airport, Highland County Hospital, Social Services, and to the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District
  • Conducting a basic academy pursuant to Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) requirements. [ Sheriff's Academy website ]
  • Providing Fish and Game enforcement
  • Project Director of the Narcotics Task Force
  • Serving as the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force
  • Operating a Marine Patrol Unit in the San Francisco Bay waters

For more detailed information about the agency, visit: Alameda County's Sheriff's Office.

Education :
Possession of an M.D. or D.O. degree conferred by an accredited medical school.

Experience :
The equivalent of two years' full-time post forensic residency/fellowship work experience in forensic pathology.

Certification :
Completion of a recognized residency program leading to board certification in forensic pathology and possession of board certification in forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology.

License :
Possession of a license to practice medicine or osteopathy in the State of California.

Special Requirements :
  • Duties require twenty-four hour on-call availability to respond to scenes of sudden death or injury, or to respond to hospitals to facility organ donor requests.
  • Duties require exposure to accidental, physical or biological health hazards and disagreeable situations.

NOTE : The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

The most suitably qualified candidates will possess the following competencies:
Knowledge of :
  • State and Federal laws applicable to the practice of forensic pathology.
  • Investigative procedures and the medico-legal techniques required to determine the circumstances, cause and manner of death as required by law.
  • Procedures and techniques utilized in forensic medicine, including medico-legal autopsy, interpretation of forensic toxicology results and interpretation of histology and clinical chemistry results associated with a cause and time of death.
  • Principles of public administration, supervision, and training.
Ability to :
  • Examine decedents for evidence and signs of injuries.
  • Document injuries, collect biological and physical evidence of injuries and interpret them.
  • Perform medico-legal autopsies in accordance with the standards of the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau and the National Association of Medical Examiners.
  • Effectively communicate interpretations of scene reconstruction, medico-legal autopsy, and investigative and observational findings verbally and in writing.
  • Testify clearly, concisely and effectively at public hearings, in courts of law and before the Grand Jury.
  • Learn, and effectively execute the policies and procedures of the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate the works of others.
  • Establish and maintain effective and diplomatic work relationships with members of the legal profession, public, staff, and other government agencies or related entities.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Selection Plan
Applications will be screened for the most qualified candidates to participate in an oral interview. Candidates who are selected to interview will be informed via email with reasonable advance notice.
You are encouraged to apply immediately as this posting is open until filled and may close at any time.

Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being. These benefits include but are not limited to*:
For your Health & Well-Being
  • Medical - HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental - HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program
For your Financial Future
  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)
For your Work/Life Balance
  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1 st United Services Credit Union
*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement. This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.
** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.

All notices related to County recruitments for which you have applied will be sent/delivered via email. Please add, and as accepted addresses to any email blocking or spam filtering program you may use. If you do not do this, your email blocking or spam filtering program may block receipt of the notices regarding your application for recruitments. You are also strongly advised to regularly log into your County of Alameda online application account to check for notices that may have been sent to you. All email notices that will be sent to you will also be kept in your personal online application account. You will be able to view all of your notices in your online application account by clicking on the "My applications" button on the Current Job Openings page and clicking on the link 'last notice sent' for the respective recruitment.
Please take the steps recommended above to ensure you do not miss any notices about a recruitment for which you have applied. The County of Alameda is not responsible for notices that are not read, received or accessed by any applicant for a County recruitment.
NOTE: All notices are generated through an automated email notification system. Replies to the email box are routed to an unmonitored mailbox. All notices are generated through an automated email notification system. Replies to the email box are routed to an unmonitored mailbox. If you have questions please go to our website at You may also contact the Human Resources Analyst listed on the job announcement for the recruitment for which you have applied.

Elaine Lemi | Human Resources Analyst
Human Resource Services, County of Alameda
(510) 272-6434 |

All Alameda County employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law. Employment with the County requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to report to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

Alameda County has a diverse workforce, that is representative of the communities we serve and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All aspects of employment are based on merit, competence, performance and business need. Alameda County does not discriminate in employment on the basis of, race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors protected under federal, state and local law. Alameda County celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive, and welcoming workplace environment.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Base Pay


Job Address

Oakland, California United States View Map