Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 11.10.21


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Cristiana I. Rojas-Appleton, 56, of Sacramento, has been appointed Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Rojas-Appleton has been Director of Human Resources at the California Public Utilities Commission since 2020. She was a Special Assistant at the California State Transportation Agency in 2019. Rojas-Appleton was Deputy Director of Administration for the California Department of Transportation from 2010 to 2019 and served in several positions there from 1989 to 2010, including Assistant Chief Counsel, Attorney III and Attorney. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Lincoln Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $184,776. Rojas-Appleton is a Democrat.

Willie Rudman, 33, of Sacramento, has been appointed Assistant Deputy Director of Communications at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Rudman has been External Affairs, Business Relations Lead for the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force at the California Department of Public Health since 2021. He was an Account Manager at Honey from 2018 to 2021 and a Senior Account Supervisor at Rescue Agency from 2017 to 2018. Rudman was a Senior Digital Brand Manager at Nike from 2014 to 2017 and an Account Executive at MKTG Inc. from 2011 to 2014. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $104,544. Rudman is a Democrat.

Teresa M. Starks, 61, of Compton, has been appointed Deputy Administrator at the Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles. Starks held several positions at Travis Air Force Base from 2017 to 2021 while serving in the Air Force Reserve, including Readiness Officer, Medical Logistics Officer and Operations Support Flight Commander in the 349 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. She was Health Program Manager III and Chief Quality Officer for the Dental Department at the Central California Women’s Facility for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2015 to 2019. Starks was a Medical Administrative Officer and Chief of the Medical Readiness Branch for the 163rd Medical Group in the California Air National Guard at March Air Reserve Base from 2011 to 2017. She held several positions in the Medical Service Corps from 2002 to 2011, including Medical Information Systems Flight Commander, Group Privacy Officer and Patient Advocate, Group Practice Manager, Chief, Medical Systems Development and Resident Research Fellow at LMI in McLean, Virginia. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Education and Counseling from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Starks is a member of the USAF Medical Services Corps Association. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $141,588. Starks is a Democrat.