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Governor Newsom Releases DMV Strike Team Report, Announces New Leadership 

Governor Newsom established the DMV Strike Team just days after taking office

The Governor also announces new DMV leadership team which will implement the recommendations made by the Strike Team

SACRAMENTO – Following through on his commitment to improve and revamp the way the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does business, Governor Gavin Newsom today released the DMV Strike Team report and announced new leadership for the department.

The report makes recommendations on ways the department can improve going forward with an emphasis on transparency, worker training and performance, speed of service and overall consumer satisfaction.

The report can be viewed here.

“Today marks an important step forward for the DMV,” said Governor Newsom. “This is about deep systems change and creating a DMV culture that puts customer experience first.”

In January, just days after taking office, Governor Newsom announced a DMV Reinvention Strike Team, to be led by Government Operations (GovOps) Secretary Marybel Batjer. The Strike Team was charged with comprehensively reviewing the department’s operations and to make recommendations to the Governor within six months for new long-term leadership and reform at DMV.

“I am impressed by the dedication and hard work of so many DMV employees,” said GovOps Secretary Marybel Batjer, who led the Strike Team. “While there are still challenges ahead, I believe our efforts and new leadership will continue to move the DMV on a path of success.”

The Strike Team’s report also outlines significant progress that has already been made at the DMV, which includes:

  • Decrease in Wait Times: Overall wait times for DMV customers have decreased by 58 minutes from August 2018 to May 2019 in the DMV’s largest offices. In August 2018, 16 percent of customers had a wait time of more than two hours and in May 2019 that number was 0.005 percent of customers. In addition, customers waiting one hour or less improved from 58.5 percent in August 2018 to 87 percent in May 2019.
  • Credit Cards: The Department entered into a contract to bring credit cards to DMV field offices. The project will start with the first pilot at the Davis DMV by the end of September. The pilot will be followed in October by three additional locations – Fresno, Victorville, and Roseville – before expanding to all 172 field offices.
  • Pop-Ups: The Strike Team and the DMV have held two “pop-up” DMVs at major California businesses to allow several hundred business travelers to get their REAL ID without going to a field office.
  • Better Access to Mobile Kiosks: The Strike Team has helped the DMV add 100 new remote kiosks that will be in place by the middle of August 2019 and another 100 by the end of the year in strategic locations.
  • Improved Staff Training: The Strike Team organized “Operation Excellence: DMV Training” day for July 24, 2019. On that morning, all DMV field offices will be closed for comprehensive employee training on REAL ID procedures.

“I want to thank the Strike Team and the thousands of career professionals who serve the public each day,” added Governor Newsom.

Governor Newsom today also announced new long-term leadership at the DMV, who will lead the implementation of the recommendations.

Steven Gordon – Director 
Steve Gordon, 59, of San Jose, has been appointed director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Gordon was a managing partner at zTransforms from 2017 to 2019, vice president of global service operations, Becton, Dickinson and Company from 2015 to 2017 and principal consultant at SteveOnService from 2012 to 2015. He was co-founder of MySeatFinder from 2008 to 2012, vice president of technical services at Cisco Systems from 1993 to 2011, a network engineer at Northwest Airlines from 1989 to 1993 and a systems engineer for EDS from 1984 to 1989. He was an auditor for the County of San Diego from 1983 to 1984. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $186,389. Gordon is registered without party preference.

Kathleen Webb – Chief Deputy Director

Kathleen Webb, 60, of Sacramento, has been appointed chief deputy director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Webb has been acting director of the Department of Motor Vehicles since 2019. She was director of performance improvement at the Government Operations Agency from 2017 to 2019, where she served as assistant secretary for innovation and accountability from 2015 to 2017. Webb was chief risk and compliance officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System from 2012 to 2015. She held multiple positions at California Correctional Health Care Services, including director of policy and risk management from 2010 to 2012 and chief of strategic planning and policy from 2009 to 2012. Webb was deputy director of the Interagency Support Division at the Department of General Services from 2008 to 2009 and director of the Governor’s Office of the Insurance Advisor from 2006 to 2008. Webb is a member of the California Center for Civic Participation and the California Prison Health Care Receivership. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $172,356. Webb is registered without party preference.

Anita Gore – Deputy Director of Communications

Anita Gore, 61, of Dixon, has been appointed deputy director of communications at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Gore has been a communications consultant at the California Department of Public Health since 2016. She was deputy director of the Office of Public Affairs at the California Department of Public Health from 2011 to 2016 and deputy director of the External Affairs Department at the California State Board of Equalization from 2004 to 2011. Gore was public affairs director for the California Department of Conservation in 2004, assistant director of communications at the California Department of Finance from 2002 to 2004 and assistant secretary of external affairs for the California Health and Human Services Agency from 1994 to 2002. Gore was deputy director of communications for the California Employment Development Department from 1991 to 1994 and assistant press secretary in the Office of the Governor from 1990 to 1991. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $160,008. Gore is a Republican.

Cynthia Moreno – Assistant Deputy Director of Communications

Cynthia Moreno, 35, of Sacramento, has been appointed assistant deputy director of communications at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Moreno has been a creative content producer for the California State Assembly since 2018. She was communications director for the California State Senate from 2017 to 2018 and capitol political correspondent for the McClatchy Company from 2012 to 2017, where she was a general assignment reporter from 2010 to 2012. Moreno was a news reporter for Telemundo in 2015, a special assignment reporter for Azteca America from 2010 to 2012 and communications director at the Community Water Center from 2009 to 2010. She was breaking news, features and political reporter for the Daily Californian from 2007 to 2009. Moreno is a member of the Capitol Correspondents Association of California, the Sacramento Press Club and the California Latino Capitol Association. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $120,000. Moreno is a Democrat.

C. David Johnson – Deputy Director of Legislation

C. David Johnson, 36, of West Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director of legislation at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Johnson has been legislative director at the Department of Toxic Substances Control since 2016. He was legislative director in the Office of Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas from 2014 to 2016. Johnson was deputy legislative counsel in the Office of Legislative Counsel from 2011 to 2014, an assembly fellow in the Office of Assemblymember Steven Bradford from 2010 to 2011 and a student legal intern at Morgan Stanley Japan Securities Co., Ltd in 2010. Johnson was a law student counselor at the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic in 2009 and a summer associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in 2009 and at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP in 2008. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a Master of Arts degree in government and politics from St. John’s University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $140,004. Johnson is a Democrat.