SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the appointment of Yolanda Richardson as secretary of the Government Operations Agency and Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez as secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, and announced the reappointment of Vito Imbasciani as secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
Yolanda Richardson, 49, of Roseville, has been appointed secretary of the Government Operations Agency. Richardson has been president at Teloiv Consulting since 2016. She was chief deputy executive director at Covered California from 2011 to 2016. Richardson was chief operating officer at Cal eConnect from 2009 to 2011 and at San Francisco Health Plan from 2007 to 2009. Richardson held several positions at Pac Advantage from 2003 to 2007, including vice president of operations, director of operations and training officer. She is a member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $217,292. Richardson is a Democrat.
Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez, 49, of San Antonio, TX, has been appointed secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Castro Ramírez has been president of the University Health Systems Foundation since 2017. She was principal deputy assistant at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2015 to 2017. Castro Ramírez was president and chief executive officer at the San Antonio Housing Authority from 2009 to 2015. She held several positions at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles from 1999 to 2009, including director of housing assistance programs, interim director of the resident relations department, and project director for the jobs plus national demonstration program. Castro Ramírez was a community planner at the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation from 1996 to 1999. She earned a Master of Arts degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $217,292. Castro Ramírez is a Democrat.
Vito Imbasciani, 73, of Los Angeles, has been reappointed secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, where he has served since 2015. Imbasciani was director of government relations at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group from 2004 to 2015, where he was a urologic surgeon from 1997 to 2004. He served as state surgeon for the California Army National Guard from 2004 to 2014 and as a surgeon in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from1986 to 2014. Imbasciani earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in musicology from Cornell University. Imbasciani was confirmed to this position by the Senate in 2016. The compensation is $217,292. Imbasciani is a Democrat.
Alexis Podesta, 39, of Carmichael, has been appointed to the State Compensation Insurance Fund Board of Directors. Podesta has served as secretary at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency since 2017, where she was undersecretary from 2015 to 2017. Podesta served in several positions in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. from 2011 to 2015, including director of external affairs, director of international affairs and chief of protocol. She was a special assistant to the senior vice president of public affairs and senior advisor to the chairman and chief executive officer at Pacific Gas and Electric Company from 2009 to 2011. Podesta was manager of government relations at the Walt Disney Company from 2007 to 2009 and served as director of scheduling in the Office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein from 2002 to 2007. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $60,797. Podesta is a Democrat.