SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:
Caroline Thomas Jacobs, 46, of El Cerrito, has been appointed director of the Wildfire Safety Division at the California Public Utilities Commission. Thomas Jacobs has served in several positions for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services since 2014, including chief of response headquarters operations, and statewide data sharing coordinator. She was regional project manager for the Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative at the California Resiliency Alliance from 2013 to 2014 and East Bay hub planner at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Services Division in 2013. Thomas Jacobs was a consultant for Emergency Preparedness Services from 2010 to 2013 and a senior manager for Worldwide Apple Retail Service from 1999 to 2007. She is a volunteer search and rescue team member for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. Thomas Jacobs earned a Master of Arts degree in women’s studies from San Francisco State University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,000. Thomas Jacobs is a Democrat.
Samar Muzaffar, 45, of Rancho Cordova, has been appointed assistant secretary at the California Health and Human Services Agency. Muzaffar has been a population health and health systems design consultant for Integrated Health Solutions LLC since 2018. From 2011 to 2018, Muzaffar served as chief medical officer at the Missouri Department of Social Services, MO HealthNet Division – Missouri’s Medicaid program. She was a project specialist and served as Emergency Medical Services medical director at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services from 2007 to 2013. She has served as an adjunct instructor at Washington University’s Brown School since 2014. Muzaffar was a clinical instructor and clinical assistant professor at the University of Missouri – Columbia University Hospital from 2007 to 2009 and a medical practitioner at Royal Oaks Hospital from 2004 to 2005. Muzaffar is a member of the American College of Preventive Medicine’s Health Systems Transformation Task Force and the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight TEAM UP Payer Advisory Board. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $175,008. Muzaffar is registered without party preference.
Sonia Fernandez–Herrera, 56, of Elk Grove, has been reappointed deputy secretary of administrative services at the California Health and Human Services Agency, where she has served since 2011. She was administrative unit manager at the California Health and Human Services Agency from 2008 to 2011. Fernandez–Herrera was an associate business management analyst at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing from 2007 to 2008. She served in several positions at the California Department of General Services from 1996 to 2007, including associate government program analyst in the Office of Technology Resources and executive assistant and staff services analyst in the Executive Office. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $140,004. Fernandez–Herrera is a Democrat.
Alicia Sutton, 35, of Berkeley, has been appointed deputy secretary of homelessness at the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. Sutton has served as chief of the Housing, Homelessness and Civil Rights Branch at the California Department of Social Services since 2017. She was senior advisor to the assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2016 to 2017. Sutton was a graduate student intern at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2015. She was a policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2012 to 2014. Sutton was national programs associate at Feeding America from 2010 to 2012. She earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $167,916. Sutton is a Democrat.
Arima Kozina, 29, of Sacramento, has been appointed special assistant to the Office of the Secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Kozina has been an intervention advocate and consultant at WEAVE Inc. since 2019. She was a senior consultant at the MarkeTech Group from 2016 to 2019, a project manager and business development analyst at Sierra Energy from 2015 to 2016 and a research analyst at the California Employment Development Department from 2014 to 2015. Kozina earned a Master of Business Administration degree in economics from the University of California, Davis. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $92,004. Kozina is registered without party preference.
Joelle Gomez, 52, of Stockton, has been appointed to the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. Gomez has been chief executive officer at the Children’s Home of Stockton since 2016. She was chief executive officer at the Women’s Center – Youth & Family Services from 1992 to 2016. She is a member of the San Joaquin County Children’s Services Coordinating Commission, San Joaquin County Human Trafficking Task Force, San Joaquin County Commission on the Status of Women and the California Alliance of Child and Family Services. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Gomez is a Democrat.
Richard Bianchi, 54, of Hollister, has been appointed to the 33rd District Agricultural Association, San Benito County Fair Board of Directors. Bianchi has been regional ranch manager for Sabor Farms since 2010 and director of the California Farm Bureau Federation District 8 since 2016. He was manager of Ausaymas Farms from 2000 to 2010. Bianchi is a member of the California Farm Bureau Federation and the Central Coast Groundwater Coalition. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Bianchi is a Republican.