SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:
Moisés Moreno-Rivera, 30, of Sacramento, has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Equity and Environmental Justice at the California Natural Resources Agency. Moreno-Rivera has been Assistant Tribal Liaison for the State Water Resources Control Board since 2019, where he served as an Environmental Justice Specialist from 2018 to 2019. He was Central Coast Program Coordinator at the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water from 2017 to 2018, Graduate Assistant for Multicultural and Diversity Affairs at the University of Florida from 2015 to 2017 and Human Rights Instructor at the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Education and Library Center from 2013 to 2015. Moreno-Rivera is a member of the Water Solutions Network, Golden Key International Honor Society and Cal Bears in the Desert. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Latin American studies from the University of Florida. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $132,000. Moreno-Rivera is a Democrat.
Jennifer “Jen” Benedet, 38, of Anderson, has been appointed Assistant Deputy Director for Communications, Education and Outreach at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, where she has served as a Statewide R3 Coordinator and Marketing Specialist since 2018. Benedet was a Consultant at the Lake Siskiyou Trout Restoration Project from 2017 to 2018, Advisor at One Conservation Network from 2016 to 2017 and California State Director/Western U.S. Outreach Coordinator at Sportsmen’s Alliance from 2015 to 2016. She was a Library Technician and History Room Specialist for the City of Carlsbad from 2013 to 2015, Community Organizer at the Alliance for African Assistance from 2009 to 2010, Case Manager at Team Coordinating Agency Inc. from 2007 to 2008 and Respite Worker at Humboldt Child Care Council from 2002 to 2005. She earned a Master of Arts degree in social and cultural anthropology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a Master of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of New Hampshire. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $117,000. Benedet is registered without party preference.
Wendy L. Bogdan, 52, of Sacramento, has been reappointed General Counsel at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, where she served in that position since 2015 and was Assistant Chief Counsel from 2012 to 2015. Bogdan was a Partner at Downey Brand LLP from 2007 to 2011, where she was an Associate from 2000 to 2007. She was a Staff Attorney at Legal Services of Northern California from 1998 to 2000. Bogdan is a member of the California Bar Association. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $181,800. Bogdan is a Democrat.
Jordan Traverso, 45, of Sacramento, has been reappointed Deputy Director of Communications at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, where she has served since 2008. Traverso was Communications Director at Consumer Attorneys of California from 2007 to 2008, Director of Communications at the California Restaurant Association from 2004 to 2007, Director of Public Liaison for California State Treasurer Phil Angelides from 2003 to 2004 and Assistant Press Secretary in the Office of Governor Gray Davis from 2000 to 2003. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $128,856. Traverso is registered without party preference.
William Liu, 60, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the California Gambling Control Commission. Liu has been a Member of the Gaming Policy Advisory Committee for the California Gambling Control Commission since 2017. He was Chief Fiscal Officer at the California Department of Technology from 2009 to 2015, Branch Chief for the California Department of Health Services from 2006 to 2009 and Audit Manager for the California Earthquake Authority from 1997 to 2006. Liu is treasurer for the Asian Pacific State Employees Association Foundation. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $159,068. Liu is registered without party preference.
Lisa Silverman, 54, of Pilot Hill, has been reappointed Executive Officer for the Office of Public School Construction at the Department of General Services, where she served in that position since 2012. Silverman was Deputy Executive Officer at the Office of Public Instruction from 2010 to 2012. Silverman served as Senior Management Auditor and Chief of Fiscal Services at the Office of Public School Construction from 2006 to 2010 and was a Business Tax Specialist and Associate Tax Auditor for the Board of Equalization from 1997 to 2006. She was an Associate Tax Auditor and Hearing Officer for the Franchise Tax Board from 1984 to 1997. Silverman is treasurer for Latino Sports Outreach and a parent volunteer for the Oak Ridge High School Soccer Program. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $141,432. Silverman is a Democrat.
Kristin “Chach” Sikes, 46, of Los Angeles, has been appointed Senior Engineer at the Office of Digital Innovation, where she has served as Full-Stack Web Developer since 2020. Sikes was Lead Engineer for the Marketing Department at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 2017 to 2020. She was Lead Architect and Web Engineer at TokenIQ from 2018 to 2019. Sikes was a Software Engineer at MapLight from 2015 to 2017. She was Front-End Engineer and Vice President of Engineering at CivicInsight from 2013 to 2015. Sikes was Lead Engineer at Mukurtu Center for Digital Archeology from 2012 to 2014. She was a Fellow at Code for American in 2011. Sikes was Web Developer at Quilted Co.op in 2010. She was Drupal Developer at the Science Museum of Minnesota from 2007 to 2009. Sikes was a Multimedia Specialist at the Exploratorium from 2004 to 2007. She is a member of the Aroma Discord and Nerds for Nature. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $147,576. Sikes is a Democrat.
Rana H. Banankhah, 16, of Modesto, has been appointed to the State Board of Education. Banankhah has been a Fellow Organizer at Josh Harder for Congress since 2020. She is vice president of San Joaquin Valley Writers, associate director of operations of Generation Up and a member of the California Scholarship Federation. Banankhah serves on several committees for Modesto City Schools, including the Inter-High Council, Student Advisory Council, District Wellness Committee and Local Control and Accountability Plan Committee. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Banankhah is not registered to vote.