Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 9.21.21

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Mary Adèr, 52, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Director for the Office of Legislation, Regulations and Public Affairs at the California Department of Developmental Services. Adèr has been a Senior Development Associate at WestEd since 2019. She was Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California from 2016 to 2019, Senior Advisor for Government Relations for Kaiser Permanente from 2011 to 2016 and Principal Consultant for the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee from 2007 to 2011 and 2002 to 2005. Adèr was a Senior Consultant for Public Consulting Group from 2005 to 2007 and a Senior Analyst for the California Legislative Analyst’s Office from 1999 to 2002. Adèr earned a Master of Public Policy degree and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $151,800. Adèr is registered without party preference.

Parag Shah, 48, of Laguna Niguel, has been appointed to the Long-Term Care Insurance Task Force. Shah has been Vice President of Product Design for Pacific Life since 2009. He held multiple positions at Lincoln Financial Group from 1995 to 2009, including Vice President, Risk and Capital Solutions, Second Vice President, Corporate Development and Second Vice President, Product Development. He is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Shah earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Shah is registered without party preference.

Melahat Rafiei, 44, of Anaheim, has been appointed to the 32nd District Agricultural Association (Orange County Fair Board). Rafiei has been Secretary at the California Democratic Party since 2021. She has been Principal at Progressive Solutions Consulting since 2009 and a Co-Founder of WeCann since 2017. Rafiei was Executive Director at the Democratic Party of Orange County from 2007 to 2009 and a Board Member at the Community Action Fund from 2007 to 2013. She is a delegate for the California Democratic Party and a member of Democratic National Committee and the City of Anaheim’s Cultural and Heritage Commission. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Rafiei is a Democrat.