THIS JUST IN … Governor Newsom announces appointments and reappointments of several of the state’s top water and wildlife policy officials

From the Office of the Governor:

Governor Gavin Newsom today announced several appointments, including the reappointment of several of the state’s top water policy officials at the California Department of Water Resources and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which are critical to build the Administration’s water resilience portfolio in the coming months, as directed by the Governor’s executive order, and to advance Voluntary Agreements regarding water management for the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems.

Karla Nemeth, 48, of Sacramento, has been reappointed director of the California Department of Water Resources, where she has served since 2018. Nemeth was deputy secretary for water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2014 to 2018. She was Bay Delta Conservation Plan program manager at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2009 to 2014, environmental and public affairs director for Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Zone 7 from 2005 to 2009 and was community affairs manager at Jones & Stokes from 2003 to 2005. Nemeth was a legislative assistant at AESOP Enterprise from 2001 to 2003 and legislative assistant and program manager for Kings County from 1998 to 2000. Nemeth earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Washington. Nemeth was confirmed by the California State Senate as director of the Department of Water Resources in 2018 and the compensation is $202,384. Nemeth is a Democrat.

Cindy Messer, 50, of Sacramento, has been reappointed chief deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources, where she has served since 2017. Messer was assistant chief deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources from 2016 to 2017, deputy executive officer of planning at the Delta Stewardship Council from 2012 to 2016 and assistant executive officer of the San Joaquin Delta Conservancy in Sacramento from 2010 to 2012. Messer was senior environmental scientist and specialist for the Division of Environmental Services at the California Department of Water Resources from 2009 to 2010 and an environmental program manager from 2008 to 2009. She was senior environmental scientist and supervisor at the Department of Water Resources from 2005 to 2008 and Range A-C environmental scientist for the Water Resources Department from 1999 to 2005. Messer earned a Master of Science degree in conservation biology from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and compensation is $176,244. Messer is a Democrat.

Charlton “Chuck” Bonham, 51, of Berkeley, has been reappointed director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, where he has served since 2011. Bonham was the California director and senior attorney for Trout Unlimited from 2000 to 2010, governing board member of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy from 2010 to 2011 and an instructor at the Nantahala Outdoor Center from 1994 to 1997. He served as small business development agent in Senegal for the U.S. Peace Corps from 1991 to 1993. Bonham earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. Bonham was confirmed by the California State Senate as director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2012 and the compensation is $189,090. Bonham is registered without party preference.

Valerie Termini, 43, of Davis, has been appointed chief deputy director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Termini has been executive director of the California Fish and Game Commission since 2016 and acting chief deputy director at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife since 2018. She was fisheries policy director for the California Ocean Protection Council from 2007 to 2016. Termini earned a Master of Arts degree in international environmental policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $151,608. Termini is a Democrat.

The Governor also announced the following appointments today:

Jennifer Lester Moffitt, 39, of Davis, has been reappointed undersecretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where she has served since 2018. Moffitt was deputy secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 2015 to 2018. She was managing director of Dixon Ridge Farms from 2005 to 2015. Moffitt held multiple positions at American Farmland Trust including education, outreach and research specialist from 2004 to 2005 and land projects coordinator from 2002 to 2004. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $183,000. Moffitt is a Democrat.

Rachael O’Brien, 34, of Sacramento, has been reappointed deputy secretary for legislative affairs at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where she has served since 2018. O’Brien was manager of government affairs for the Agricultural Council of California from 2014 to 2018. She was a legislative advocate at Gonzalez, Quintana, Hunter LLC from 2013 to 2014 and a program and policy associate at EcoConsult from 2010 to 2012. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $142,344. O’Brien is registered without party preference.

Arturo Barajas, 27, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Barajas has been a legislative aide in the Office of Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula since 2016. He was campaign manager for Dr. Joaquin Arambula for Assembly 2018 in 2018 and a constituent affairs representative in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. from 2015 to 2016. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $105,000. Barajas is a Democrat.

 

 

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