Governor Newsom Appoints Secretaries for California Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Food and Agriculture

SACRAMENTO — Newly sworn-in Governor Gavin Newsom today announced his choice for leaders — one a new appointment, the other a reappointment — of two vitally-important California state agencies.

Jared Blumenfeld, 49, of San Francisco, has been appointed Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the state cabinet-level agency established in 1991 to restore, protect and enhance the environment and to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality.

Blumenfeld is widely recognized as one of America’s most innovative environmental leaders. In 2016, he founded his own private firm advising clean tech companies in best practices after serving eight successful years as Regional Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the Pacific Southwest, including California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and 148 tribal nations, under President Barack Obama.

Previously, he was Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment for nine years, where he and then-Mayor Newsom worked effectively to make San Francisco the most sustainable city in the nation. He also served as General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Director of the Treasure Island Redevelopment Authority, Chairman of United Nations World Environment Day, Director of Habitat Protection at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Executive Director of Earth Summit Watch for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

He graduated from Cambridge College of Arts and Technology and earned a Master of Laws degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $209,943. Blumenfeld is a Democrat.

Karen Ross, 67, of Sacramento, has been reappointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the state cabinet-level department established in 1919 to promote and protect a safe, healthy food supply, local and global agricultural trade, and environmental stewardship.

Ross successfully served as CDFA Secretary under Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. for 8 years. She has unmatched leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and here in California.

Prior to joining CDFA, Ross was chief of staff to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a position she accepted in 2009. Prior to that appointment, she served as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996 to 2009, and as Vice-President of the Agricultural Council of California from 1989 to 1996.

Before moving to California, Secretary Ross served as Director of Government Relations for the Nebraska Rural Electric Association and as Field Representative for U.S. Senator Edward Zorinsky.

Ross grew up as a 4-H kid on a farm in Western Nebraska. She and her husband, Barry, own 800 acres of the family farm where her younger brother, a fourth-generation farmer, grows dryland wheat, feed grains and cattle. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is a graduate of the Nebraska Ag Leadership Program. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $209,943. Ross is a Democrat.