OAKLAND -- Council members announced the appointment Monday of a San Jose deputy city manager as Oakland's new city administrator.

The appointment of Deanna Santana was announced after a closed council session Monday night.

Mayor Jean Quan has been searching for a city administrator since her election in November. Former Fire Chief Lamont Ewell has been serving in an interim capacity since March when former City Administrator Dan Lindheim left the position.

"I was looking for someone who knew California and who had proven leadership," Quan said.

"We're very blessed to get somebody who's actually interned here."

Santana, who has a master's degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and two undergraduate degrees from UC Berkeley, began her career in Oakland in 1995 as a management intern working under Ewell, who was then city manager.

Quan said Santana's experience in San Jose will help Oakland in its efforts to put a medicinal marijuana farming ordinance into effect and in its ongoing negotiations with public employees that are critical to the city's dire budget situation.

Santana is expected to make a more formal introduction to the public Wednesday morning, but spoke briefly at the city council meeting Tuesday night.

"I know our path will not be easy, but it is with great energy and dedication I will serve this city," Santana said.

She is expected to take office Aug. 1.

City Council President Larry Reid told Santana he was looking forward to working with her even in the difficult times Oakland is facing.

"Welcome home," he said.

Quan announced when she was elected in November that she would seek a new permanent city administrator, but after a months-long search and more than 40 applicants, negotiations with her first two choices fell through.

Contact Sean Maher at 510-208-6430.