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Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 3.13.20


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Erin Curtis, 48, of Carmichael, has been appointed deputy secretary for communications and external affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Curtis has been assistant regional director for external affairs at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento since 2019. She was public affairs officer for the Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region from 2017 to 2019 and 2014 to 2015, deputy state director for communications at the Bureau of Land Management’s Idaho state office from 2015 to 2017 and chief of the Office of Communications, Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska state office from 2013 to 2014. She was public affairs specialist/public affairs lead for the Bureau of Land Management’s California state office from 2010 to 2013 and public affairs specialist for the Bureau of Land Management’s Western Colorado office from 2009 to 2010. Curtis held multiple positions for the Coast Community College District, including associate vice chancellor for educational services and external affairs from 2005 to 2007 and public affairs director from 2001 to 2005. Curtis earned a Master Public Administration degree from California State University, Long Beach. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $155,008. Curtis is a Democrat.

Christine Powell, 46, of San Francisco, has been appointed technical advisor II at the California Public Utilities Commission. Powell has worked for the California Public Utilities Commission as interim chief of staff to Commissioner Liane Randolph since 2020 and as an administrative law judge since 2018. She was a summer legal intern for the California Public Utilities Commission in 2009. Powell served in several positions at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including attorney advisor from 2012 to 2018, judicial law clerk from 2010 to 2012, and summer intern in 2008. She was application development manager at Abbot Laboratories from 1999 to 2007. Powell was senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1996 to 1999. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and a Master of Science degree in administrative studies from Boston College. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $151,728. Powell is a Democrat.

Carol Baker, 68, of Sacramento, has been reappointed to the California Water Commission, where she has served since 2016. Baker was chair of the California Fish and Wildlife Strategic Vision Blue Ribbon Citizen Commission in 2011 and was an independent water policy consultant for Kaufman Consultants in 2009. She served as chief policy consultant for natural resources and environmental protection policy and deputy budget director in the Office of the State Assembly Speaker from 2000 to 2008. Baker held multiple positions at the Department of Finance, including principal budget analyst from 1994 to 2000 and from 1985 to 1992, and staff budget analyst from 1982 to 1985. She was a deputy director for administration and management at the Department of Housing and Community Development from 1992 to 1994. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Baker is a Democrat.

Paul Rodriguez, 51, of Whittier, has been appointed to the Commission on Emergency Medical Services. Rodriguez has been a firefighter/paramedic in the Operations Bureau of the Long Beach Fire Department since 2007, where he has held several positions since 2001, including firefighter, PIO and CERT coordinator for the Community Services Division. He served in the U.S. Army from 1987 to 1991. Rodriguez was director of the Long Beach Firefighters’ Association, Local 372 from 2004 to 2009. He is a member of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Commission. Rodriguez earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Rodriguez is a Republican.

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