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Governor Newsom Announces Appointments  9.6.23

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Stephanie Weaver, of Yountville, has been appointed Administrator of the Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles. Weaver has served as Deputy Administrator at the Veterans Home of California, Yountville since 2019. She was Senior Director of SAFE Veterans and Director of Treatment and Recovery for the Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic Project in 2019. Weaver served in several positions at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration from 2014 to 2017, including Team Lead, Budget Team and Public Health Advisor – Military Affairs. She was National Guard Liaison to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at the National Guard Bureau from 2014 to 2015. Weaver served at the rank of E-8 in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1996 to 2014 and at the rank of E-2 there from 1992 to 1993. She served at the rank of E-4 in the U.S. Army from 1993 to 1996. Weaver earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Baltimore. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $168,828. Weaver is a Democrat.

Thora Chaves, of Carmichael, has been appointed Deputy Secretary of Communications at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Chaves has served as Communications Manager at the California Department of Veterans Affairs since 2015. She was Associate Editor at the California Highway Patrol from 2007 to 2015. Chaves is a member of the Sacramento Press Club. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Communications from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $154,272. She is a Democrat.

Monica Hernández, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations at the California Department of Technology. Hernández has served as Deputy Director of Communications at the California Department of Housing and Community Development since 2021. She held several positions at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments from 2007 to 2021, including Director of Innovation and Partnerships, Communications Manager, Public Information Officer, Associate Public Information Coordinator and Assistant Public Information Coordinator. She is a board member of the Crocker Art Museum Association and a member of the Urban Land Institute Sacramento Chapter and the California Association of Public Information Officers. Hernández earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from California State University, Sacramento and a Master of Science degree in Communications from Purdue University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $150,036. Hernández is a Democrat.

Pablo Espinoza, of Elk Grove, has been appointed Deputy Director of Communications at the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Espinoza has been Special Projects Media Consultant at the Assembly Speaker’s Democratic Office of Communications and Outreach since 2010. He was Deputy Director of the Assembly Speaker’s Office of Member Services from 2007 to 2010. He was an Anchor and Reporter for Univision Network from 1997 to 2007. He was a Contributing Correspondent for PBS’s California Connected from 2001 to 2005. Espinoza earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of the Incarnate Word. Espinoza is a member of the California Museum Board of Trustees, Broadway Sacramento Board of Directors, and the Street Soccer USA Sacramento Board of Directors. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $155,280. Espinoza is a Democrat.

Dana Ellis, of Orangevale, has been appointed Assistant Director of Response North at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Ellis has been Acting Assistant Director of Response North at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services since 2023, where she has served in several positions since 1989, including Deputy Regional Administrator, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator, Emergency Services Coordinator, Staff Services Analyst and Associate Governmental Program Analyst. She is a member of the California Emergency Services Association and the Cherokee Nation. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $159,456. Ellis is a Republican.

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