Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 3.10.20

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SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Ryan Morimune, 34, of Sacramento, will be appointed, effective March 23, as chief of legislative affairs for administration at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Morimune has served as chief of staff and legislative director for State Senator Steven Bradford since 2017. He was principal assistant in the Office of State Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer from 2016 to 2017. Morimune was press secretary and legislative aide in the Office of State Assemblymember Susan Bonilla from 2014 to 2016. He was a policy intern for the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review and in the Office of State Assemblymember Jim Frazier from 2013 to 2014. Morimune earned a Master of Arts degree in sociology with an emphasis on race, ethnic relations and criminology from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $125,760. Morimune is a Democrat.

Russ Nichols, 52, of Cameron Park, has been reappointed director of the Division of Enterprise Information Services at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he has served in that role since 2015. Nichols was director of strategic offender management systems at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2010 to 2015. He was MyCalPays technical project manager at the California State Controller’s Office from 2007 to 2009. Nichols was application services and customer services manager at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection from 1999 to 2007. He was a member of the Marine Reserve with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987 to 1994. Nichols was confirmed to this position by the Senate in 2016. The compensation is $178,536. Nichols is a Republican.

Nuriel Moghavem, 30, of Redwood City, has been reappointed to the Health Professions Education Foundation Board of Trustees, where he has served since 2019, and has been designated president. Moghavem has been a resident physician at the Stanford School of Medicine Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences since 2018. He was a resident physician in internal medicine at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center from 2017 to 2018 and a legislative assistant in the Office of State Assemblymember Richard Gordon from 2015 to 2016. Moghavem earned a Doctor of Medicine degree concentrated in health services and policy research from the Stanford School of Medicine. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Moghavem is a Democrat.

Damascus Castellanos, 53, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the California Horse Racing Board. Castellanos has been a business representative for Teamsters Local No. 495 since 2012. He was a business representative for Teamsters Local No. 630 from 2001 to 2012. Castellanos is a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Castellanos is a Democrat.

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