SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:
Jennifer Norris, 51, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy secretary for biodiversity and habitat at the California Natural Resources Agency. Norris has served as fish and wildlife administrator for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service since 2013, where she was deputy field supervisor from 2011 to 2013, assistant field supervisor from 2010 to 2011, critical habitat coordinator from 2009 to 2010, Rio Grande ESA coordinator from 2006 to 2009 and fish and wildlife biologist from 2004 to 2006. She was a biologist at the New Mexico State Land Office from 2001 to 2004. Norris earned a Doctor of Biological Sciences degree in ecology from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Science degree in conservation biology from the University of Michigan. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $167,004. Norris is a Democrat.
Ted Craddock, 53, of El Dorado Hills, has been appointed deputy director of the State Water Project at the California Department of Water Resources, where he has served as the acting deputy director since 2019. Craddock has served in multiple other positions at the California Department of Water Resources since 1994, including assistant deputy director of the State Water Project, project manager of Oroville Spillways Emergency Recovery, chief of utility operations for the Hydropower License Office, program manager of the East Branch Extension, advisor to the State Water Project deputy director, and civil engineer. Craddock is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the United States Society on Dams. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $196,932. Craddock is registered without party preference.
Ellen Junn, 62, of Turlock, has been appointed to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Junn has been president of California State University, Stanislaus since 2016. She was provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Dominguez Hills from 2014 to 2016. Junn was provost and vice president for academic affairs at San Jose State University from 2012 to 2013. She was associate provost at Fresno State University from 2008 to 2011. Junn is an executive steering member of the Millennium Leadership Initiative — part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), a member of the board of directors of California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, an executive committee member of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, and a member of ITHAKA Higher Ed Insights, American Psychological Association, and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. She earned Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in cognitive and developmental psychology from Princeton University. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Junn is a Democrat.
Robert Shireman, 58, of Berkeley, has been appointed to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Shireman has been senior fellow and director of higher education excellence at the Century Foundation since 2015. He was executive director at California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy from 2010 to 2015. Shireman was deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education from 2009 to 2010. He was president of the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) from 2004 to 2009. Shireman was senior fellow at the Program on Education and Society, Aspen Institute from 2003 to 2004. He was program director for higher education at the James Irvine Foundation from 1998 to 2002 and was senior policy advisor at the National Economic Council from 1996 to 1998. He was education advisor and legislative director for United States Senator Paul Simon from 1989 to 1996. Shireman was a policy analyst at the West Coast Regional Office for the Consumers Union of the United States, Inc. from 1986 to 1988. He earned a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of San Francisco. Shireman is a member of the boards of the Opportunity Institute and uAspire. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Shireman is a Democrat.
Sara Barth, 51, of Pleasanton, has been appointed to the State Park and Recreation Commission. Barth has been executive director of the Sempervirens Fund since 2016. She held multiple positions at the Wilderness Society from 2003 to 2016, including, senior regional director for the Pacific and Southwest Regions, vice president for regional conservation, and California/Nevada Director. She was a legislative assistant to United States Senator Barbara Boxer from 2000 to 2003, legislative representative for the Endangered Habitats Team at the National Wildlife Federation from 1996 to 2000 and conservation fellow at the World Wildlife Fund from 1994 to 1996. She is a member of Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders and the California League of Conservation Voters. Barth earned a Master of Science degree in conservation biology and natural resource policy from the University of Michigan. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Barth is a Democrat.
Asma Mahdi, 37, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the State Park and Recreation Commission. Mahdi has been policy director at the Better World Group since 2019. She was communications manager at the UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research / Sustainable LA Grand Challenge from 2016 to 2019, executive director and communications director at Green Muslims from 2014 to 2018, outreach and communications specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program from 2012 to 2016 and coastal cleanup day coordinator at Heal the Bay in 2011. She earned a Master of Environmental Science and Management degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Mahdi is registered without party preference.
Katherine Toy, 51, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the State Park and Recreation Commission. Toy has been executive vice president of partnerships and programs at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy since 2017. She was associate director for alumni volunteer engagement at Stanford Alumni Association/Stanford University from 2007 to 2017, program director at San Francisco School Volunteers from 2005 to 2007 and executive director at the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation from 2000 to 2004. She was assistant director of the Stanford Alumni Association from 1998 to 2000, teacher and director of student activities for the Las Lomitas School District from 1995 to 1997, intern teacher at Carlmont High School/Sequoia Union High School District from 1994 to 1995 and teacher at the Bryn Mawr School from 1991 to 1994. Toy earned a Master of Arts degree in education from Stanford University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Toy is a Democrat.