Esther Jacobo is the Chief Assistant State Attorney for Operations at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, serving under State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. Ms. Jacobo returned to the state attorney’s office – where she started her legal career in 1992 – in May of 2014. She has numerous responsibilities, including the Human Trafficking Unit, Career Criminal Unit, Juvenile Division, Community Prosecutions and Media Relations. She is also responsible for a number of felony divisions.
Prior to her current position Ms. Jacobo was Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). Governor Rick Scott appointed her to this position in August 2013 during a tumultuous period when DCF was coming under fire for a spate of child deaths due to abuse and neglect. She immediately met the challenges head on, ordering hard-hitting outside reviews that exposed vulnerabilities in the investigative process and led to the implementation of a slate of new processes. Her efforts garnered strong support from Governor Scott and the Florida legislature, who approved a historic $31.9 million increase in the department’s budget to support her reforms. Ms. Jacobo managed a $3 billion budget and close to 12,000 employees.
Before joining DCF, Ms. Jacobo earned a law degree from St. Thomas University in Miami in 1992. That same year, Janet Reno appointed her to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office as an assistant state attorney where she served in several capacities. She litigated over 100 cases, including homicides and complex sexual batteries, of which over 60 were jury trials. Her assignments included Division Chief of the Domestic Crimes Unit, in which she was serving before taking a position at the law firm of Elser and Foster Morales in April of 2007.
Ms. Jacobo has dedicated her entire public service career to the safety and well-being of Florida’s families and her community.
Term: Effective February 23, 2015; appointed by virtue of her position.