SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:
Amy S. H. Tong, 46, of Elk Grove, has been reappointed director of the California Department of Technology, where she has served as director since 2016. Tong was acting director at the California Department of Technology in 2016. She was chief deputy director at the Office of Systems Integration and agency chief information officer at the California Health and Human Services Agency from 2014 to 2016, deputy director and chief information officer at the California Lottery from 2012 to 2014 and chief technology officer at the State Board of Equalization from 2011 to 2012. She served as chief of the California Public Employees’ Retirement Pension System Data Center from 2008 to 2011 and acting chief information officer at the State Water Resources Control Board from 1994 to 2008. Tong is a member of the California Northstate University Board of Trustees, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Asian Pacific State Employee Association, and Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association. Tong earned a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento. Tong was confirmed to this position by the Senate in 2017 and the compensation is $197,797. Tong is registered without party preference.
Russell Atterberry, 44, of Folsom, has been reappointed undersecretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, where he has served since 2015. Atterberry was executive officer at the Navy Operational Support Center, Sacramento from 2014 to 2015. He was department head student at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command from 2012 to 2013 and operations and training department head of the U.S. Navy Cruiser Class Squadron from 2008 to 2010. Atterberry served in several positions in the U.S. Navy from 1995 to 2008, including command control center officer, ordinance officer, force protection officer and engineer. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $191,052. Atterberry is a Democrat.
Deborah Hoffman, 54, of Sacramento, has been appointed special advisor at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Hoffman has served as senior advisor and communications at the California Department of Veterans Affairs since 2019. She was undersecretary at the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency from 2017 to 2019. Hoffman was deputy press secretary in the Office of the Governor from 2015 to 2017. She was assistant secretary of public employee communications at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2012 to 2015. Hoffman was deputy secretary of communications and external affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2011 to 2012. She was communications director and policy consultant in the Office of California State Senator Fran Pavley from 2009 to 2011. Hoffman was a reporter at KXTV ABC10 News from 1995 to 2009 and at KRNV NBC Reno from 1993 to 1995. Hoffman was a news reporter, weekend anchor and producer at KULR NBC Billings Nevada from 1990 to 1993. She was a news anchor and assistant news director at KAVL Radio from 1988 to 1990. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $162,000. Hoffman is registered without party preference.
James Phillips, 62, of Folsom, has been appointed chief deputy general counsel at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Phillips has served as assistant general counsel for the office of legal affairs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2017. He held several positions at the California Department of Justice from 1994 to 2017, including deputy attorney general of the tort and condemnation section and deputy attorney general of correctional law. Phillips held several positions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 1990 to 1995, including senior staff counsel of the legal affairs division and staff counsel of the legal office. He was associate attorney at McDonald, Saeltzer, Morris, Creeggan & Waddock from 1989 to 1990. Phillips held several positions in the U.S. Navy from 1987 to 1989, including lieutenant judge advocate for naval legal services, lieutenant staff judge advocate for the office of the commander, and lieutenant judge advocate general for the naval legal services detachment. Phillips earned a Master of Laws degree in criminal law from the University of San Diego School of Law and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $192,036. Phillips is registered without party preference.
Amy A. Palmer, 54, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy secretary of communications at the Government Operations Agency. Palmer has served as director of communications and public relations for Covered California since 2014. She was principal at AAP Communications from 2011 to 2014. Palmer was associate secretary for external affairs at the California Health and Human Services Agency from 2007 to 2011. Palmer is a member of the National Association of Government Communicators. She earned a Master of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $148,524. Palmer is a Republican.
Christine Lally, 43, of Sacramento, has been appointed chief deputy director for the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Lally has served at the Medical Board of California as interim executive director since 2019 and as deputy director since 2017. She was deputy director of Board and Bureau Relations at the Department of Consumer Affairs from 2013 to 2017. Lally was assistant secretary of communications and legislation at the California Technology Agency from 2011 to 2013. She was deputy secretary of legislative affairs at the State and Consumer Services Agency in 2011. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $164,376. Lally is a Democrat.
Lily Cervantes, 47, of Huntington Beach, has been appointed labor relations officer at the California Department of Human Resources. Cervantes has been chief executive officer at Vox Innovative Solutions since 2018. She was a labor relations manager at Disney Parks and Resorts from 2016 to 2018. Cervantes held multiple positions at CAL FIRE from 2013 to 2016, including chief of labor relations and labor relations manager. She was a labor relations specialist for the Department of Parks and Recreation from 2012 to 2013 and at the Department of Water Resources from 2011 to 2012. Cervantes held several positions at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2007 to 2011, including labor relations specialist, labor relations analyst, and staff services analyst. She is a certified professional in human resources. Cervantes is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the International Association of Interviewers. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $117,000. Cervantes is a Republican.