Jun 6, 2024

Governor Newsom announces appointments 6.6.24

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Debra Lee, of Carson, has been appointed Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health at the Department of Industrial Relations, where she has been Acting Chief since 2024 and has served in several positions since 1994, including Deputy Chief for Safety, Acting Deputy for Safety, Regional Manager, District Manager, Associate Industrial Hygienist and Industrial Hygienist. Lee was an Industrial Hygienist at Northrop Grumman from 1992 to 1994 and a Hazardous Waste Specialist at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources from 1990 to 1992. Lee was an Industrial Hygienist at Health Science Associates from 1987 to 1990 and for TRW Electronics and Defense from 1985 to 1987. Lee earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health from California State University, Northridge. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $202,368. Lee is a Democrat.

Daniel Lopez, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Director of Communications at the Department of Industrial Relations. Lopez has served as Deputy Communications Director in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom since 2021. He was Public Information Officer in the Office of Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs from 2017 to 2021 and served as Chief of Staff in the Office of State Senator Richard Pan from 2016 to 2017. Lopez was Special Assistant in the Office of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson from 2013 to 2016 and an Administrative Coordinator at Facebook from 2012 to 2013. He was a Special Assistant in the Office of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in 2008. Lopez was a Press Aide in the Office of Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi from 2007 to 2008 and an Office Manager for Angelides for Governor 2006 from 2005 to 2007. Lopez earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Journalism from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $137,976. Lopez is a Democrat.

Emily Desai, of Sacramento, has been appointed Senior Deputy Director for Strategic Program Planning and External Affairs at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, where she has been Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade since 2021 and has served in several positions since 2019, including Trade and Investment Representative for Europe, Middle East, and India and Special Advisor of International Affairs and Investment. Desai was Senior Project Manager of International Affairs and Trade for the U.S. Government Accountability Office from 2014 to 2019. She was a Senior Policy Analyst for the Pacific Institute and the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate in 2014. Desai was a Senior Associate at the Nonprofit Finance Fund from 2010 to 2012. She is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the State International Development Organization, and a member of the U.S. Investment Advisory Council and the U.S. Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on International Trade. Desai earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and International Business from the University of Arizona. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $160,008. Desai is a Democrat.

Nidia Erceg, of South Pasadena, has been appointed Zero Emission Vehicle Equity Advocate at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Erceg has been Acting Deputy Organizing Director for the Sierra Club since 2022, where she was Western Regional Organizer from 2020 to 2022 and Senior Organizing Manager from 2018 to 2020. She was Air Quality and Health Advisor of C40 Cities in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti from 2017 to 2018. Erceg was Deputy Policy Director of the Coalition for Clean Air from 2015 to 2018. She was a Consultant at City Vida Consulting from 2009 to 2013. Erceg was Director of Outreach at North East Trees from 2005 to 2009. She earned a Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $108,744. Erceg is a Democrat.

Daniel Trump, of Pinole, has been appointed Legal Advisor to the California Public Employment Relations Board, where he has been a Regional Attorney since 2011. Trump was a Law Clerk and Field Organizer for the National Treasury Employees Union from 2010 to 2011. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,424. Trump is a Democrat.

Edmond Blagdon, of El Dorado Hills, has been appointed Director of Enterprise Information Systems at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he has been Deputy Director of Integrated Business and Technology Solutions since 2021 and has served in several positions since 2009, including Information Technology Manager II and Director of Communications and Change Management. Blagdon was a System Software Specialist III at California Correctional Health Care Services in 2016 and a Development Manager at the California Department of Health and Human Services from 2004 to 2009. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $189,000. Blagdon is a Democrat.

Cynthia Mendonza, of El Dorado Hills, has been appointed Chief of Legislative Affairs, Administration at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Mendonza has been Principal Program Budget Analyst at the California Department of Finance since 2022, where she was a Staff Finance Budget Analyst from 2021 to 2022 and a Finance Budget Analyst from 2016 to 2017. She has been a Behavior Consultant since 2009. Mendonza was Chief of Marketing and Regulatory Compliance at the California Prison Industry Authority from 2020 to 2021 and Chief of Budget and Financial Planning there from 2018 to 2020. She was a Staff Services Manager at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2014 to 2016, where she was a Health Program Specialist I from 2013 to 2014 and an Associate Governmental Program Analyst from 2012 to 2013. Mendonza earned a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, San Jose, a Master of Science degree in Psychology from California State University, Stanislaus and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Saint Mary’s College of California. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $150,000. Mendonza is registered without party preference.