Governor Newsom Announces Executive Staff Transition with Appointment of Jim DeBoo as Executive Secretary 

DeBoo ​will lead overall strategy including communications, legislative, external affairs and intergovernmental affairs 

​Governor thanks outgoing Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary for helping advance reforms on climate, equity and economic opportunity and steer California through an unprecedented two years

SACRAMENTO – With leading California through the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring inclusive economic recovery for all as his top priority, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that Jim DeBoo will serve as Executive Secretary starting January 1, 2021 and lead the ​Office of the Governor alongside Cabinet Secretary Ana Matosantos.

“Jim DeBoo has a long legacy of service at all levels of government and, as we continue to carry our state through these unprecedented challenges, his ability to bring people together and drive the priorities most important to Californians will be pivotal, ” said Governor Newsom. “I am grateful to Jim for taking on this role, driven by his deep-rooted belief that stepping into public service in times like these is when it matters most. ​I am also grateful for the continued leadership of my Cabinet Secretary Ana Mato​santos, who has guided state government and agencies over the first two years of this Administration. I could not think of a more qualified or committed ​team in their respective roles to help me and my Administration lead California to a healthier, more inclusive future for all.”

“I am humbled to return to public service during these challenging times to serve the people of California under Governor Newsom’s leadership,” said Jim DeBoo. “As a proud Californian with a passion for public service, I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work for every corner of our state and to drive the Governor’s commitment to helping our families, kids, businesses and communities recover, thrive and grow.”

As Governor Newsom announced this transition, he praised outgoing Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary for her commitment and dedication to the people of California as she helped set up and lead his Administration during his first two years.

“Ann came to my Administration as a national leader in the fight for working families and a best-in-class crisis manager, and I am incredibly grateful for her partnership and service over the last two years,” said Governor Newsom. “Ann helped me build a Governor’s Office team that represents the diversity of California, and she led the Administration through unprecedented crises – a global pandemic, the PG&E bankruptcy, a climate crisis and a national reckoning on race. Even as we tackled these challenges, she never kept her eye off what we all came here to do – to make California a better place for every Californian to live, work and dream. She has left her mark on California through what we have accomplished over these two years – from expansions of paid family leave, the Earned Income Tax Credit and child care opportunities to our first-in-the nation zero-emission vehicle mandate and California’s death penalty moratorium. I wish Ann well as she embarks on her next chapter.”

​In his role as Executive Secretary, DeBoo will oversee ​the Governor and Administration’s overall strategy including communications, legislative, external affairs and intergovernmental affairs, as well as the Governor’s scheduling, advance and protocol operations. Matosantos will continue to oversee agencies and departments and lead in the state’s policy development and implementation, as well as oversee the Office of the Governor’s legal affairs, ​judicial appointments and operations.

DeBoo, 45, of Sacramento, comes to the Newsom Administration with a fifteen-year track record of public service across state and local government, including as Interim Chief of Staff for Speaker John A. Pérez and Director of the Speaker’s Office of Member Services; Chief Legislative Representative for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City of Los Angeles; Chief of Staff for former Assemblymembers Pedro Nava and Joe Nation; as well as Special Advisor to former State Superintendent of Public Instruction and State Senator Jack O’Connell. Most recently, DeBoo was Principal of DeBoo Communications, a public affairs and political consulting firm that specialized in elections, communications and media. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $207,000. DeBoo is a Democrat.

O’Leary submitted her resignation letter today, but will continue her service through mid-January to assist in ensuring a seamless transition.