Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 6.10.19


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Alva Vernon Johnson, 51, of Elk Grove, has been appointed director of the California State Lottery. Johnson was director of intergovernmental affairs for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians from 2016 to 2018. He was executive director of governmental affairs and public relations for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians from 2005 to 2015 and director of governmental affairs at Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan LLP from 2004 to 2005. He was chief consultant for the California State Assembly Governmental Organization Committee from 2002 to 2003, staff consultant for the Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education from 2001 to 2002, and legislative liaison at the California State Lottery in 2001. Johnson served as a deputy legislative secretary in the Office of Governor Gray Davis from 1999 to 2000 and as legislative liaison for the California Department of Education from 1998 to 1999. Johnson earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,086. Johnson is a Democrat.

Ryan Buras, 43, of Davidsonville, Maryland, has been appointed deputy director of recovery operations in the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Buras has been director of the National Qualification System in the National Integration Center at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, since 2017, where he has served in several positions since 2005, including senior advisor in the Office of Recovery Public Assistance and acting executive officer of the Office of Response and Recovery. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $150,672. Buras is a Democrat.

Max Oltersdorf, 27, of Brooklyn, New York, has been appointed deputy director of international affairs and trade development in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Oltersdorf has been chief executive officer at Quiddity Group Inc. since 2018. He was associate at Alpine Investors from 2017 to 2018, director for private sector engagement in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from 2016 to 2017 and an associate at the White House Presidential Personnel Office in 2016. He was a campaign organizer at San Francisco Political Campaigns in 2015. Oltersdorf was born and raised in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100,008. Oltersdorf is a Democrat.