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Office of the Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Governor's Press Office

Monday, August 6, 2018 (916) 445-4571

Governor Brown Announces Appointments

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments:

 

Laphonza Butler, 39, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Butler has been president of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers Union since 2010. She was a national division director and campaign director for SEIU in Washington, D.C. from 2006 to 2009. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Butler is a Democrat.

 

Michael Cohen, 45, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Cohen has served as director at the California Department of Finance since 2013, where he was chief deputy director for budget from 2011 to 2013. He served in several positions at the California Legislative Analyst’s Office from 1997 to 2010, including deputy legislative analyst, director of state administration and local government finance analyst. Cohen earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Cohen is registered without party preference.

 

Cecilia V. Estolano, 52, of Pasadena, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Estolano has been co-founder and chief executive officer at Estolano LeSar Advisors since 2011. She was chief strategist for state and local initiatives at Green for All from 2009 to 2011, chief executive officer at the City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency from 2006 to 2009 and an adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and in 2017. Estolano was of counsel at Gibson Dunn and Crutcher LLP from 2005 to 2006 and served as special assistant city attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office from 2001 to 2005. She served as a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1993 to 1995. Estolano earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Master of Arts degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Estolano is a Democrat.

 

Richard H. Leib, 61, of Solana Beach, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Leib has been president and chief executive officer at Dunleer Strategies since 2018. He was executive vice president and general counsel at Liquid Environmental Solutions from 2002 to 2017. Leib was vice president at Lockheed Martin IMS from 1999 to 2001 and executive vice president and general counsel at U.S. Public Technologies from 1994 to 1999. Leib was co-founder of the Investment Management Group at Stone and Youngberg LLC from 1992 to 1994. He was a legislative assistant in the Office of California State Senator Gary Hart from 1982 to 1988 and executive director at Agenda for the ‘90s from 1988 to 1990. Leib was a Coro fellow from 1979 to 1980. He is a member of the Solana Beach School District Board of Education. Leib earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and a Master of Public Policy degree from Claremont Graduate University. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Leib is a Democrat.

 

Amy Costa, 41, of Alameda, has been appointed to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. Costa has been chief deputy director for budget at the California Department of Finance since 2016, where she served as advisor to the director on higher education from 2014 to 2016. She was an account lead at Blue Beyond Consulting from 2012 to 2014 and director of state and local government relations at Safeway Inc. from 2010 to 2012. Costa served as associate director of advocacy and state relations at the California State University Chancellor’s Office from 2009 to 2010. She served as policy director in the Office of California State Senator Dean Florez from 2008 to 2009, as a policy consultant in the Office of California State Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata from 2005 to 2008 and district director in the Office of California State Senator Don Perata from 2001 to 2005. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Costa is a Democrat.

 

Blas Villalobos, 37, of Lakewood, has been appointed to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. Villalobos has been director of veteran affairs at Chapman University since 2018. He served as manager in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs from 2015 to 2017. Villalobos was executive director of community programs and veteran services at U.S. Veterans Initiatives from 2012 to 2015, where he was a case manager from 2009 to 2011. He was a graduate intern at the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 2011 to 2012 and at El Nido Family Centers from 2010 to 2011. Villalobos was an outreach worker at U.S. Veterans Initiatives, Long Beach from 2008 to 2009. He served in several positions in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1999 to 2003, including as private, private first class, lance corporal, corporal and sergeant. Villalobos earned a Master of Social Work degree in social work from the University of Southern California. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Villalobos is a Democrat.

 

Gareth Lacy, 36, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the California Gambling Control Commission. Lacy has served as a deputy press secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2015, where he was senior research associate from 2011 to 2012. He served as deputy secretary of communications and strategic planning at the California State Transportation Agency from 2013 to 2015 and at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 2012 to 2013. Lacy was editor-in-chief at the Washington Journal of Law, Technology and Arts from 2010 to 2011 and served as press secretary in the Office of the Attorney General from 2007 to 2008. He was deputy campaign manager of Jerry Brown for Attorney General from 2005 to 2006 and a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho from 2003 to 2005. Lacy earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Washington School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $153,689. Lacy is a Democrat.

 

Kathy Baldree, 54, of Daly City, has been appointed to the State Personnel Board. Baldree has been special assistant and director of scheduling in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2011. She was the director of scheduling in the Office of the Attorney General from 2007 to 2011. Baldree served as an instructor with the San Francisco Community College District from 1986 to 1989. She held several positions at Gap Inc. from 1989 to 2007, including executive assistant to the executive vice president of corporate strategy and business development and executive assistant to the chief administrative officer. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $48,789. Baldree is a Democrat.

 

Shawnda Westly, 48, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the State Personnel Board. Westly has been president of Westly Consulting since 2005. She was senior strategist for the California Democratic Party from 2009 to 2018, political director for the California Professional Firefighters Union from 1999 to 2005, district director in the Office of California State Senator Betty Karnette from 1996 to 1997 and senate consultant in the Office of California State Senate President pro Tempore Bill Lockyer from 1997 to 1999. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $48,789. Westly is a Democrat.

 

Katherine Williams Dodd, 29, of Napa, has been appointed to the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. Dodd has served as deputy legal affairs secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2017. She was assistant general manager and corporate secretary at Frog’s Leap Winery from 2016 to 2017. Dodd was a legislative advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union of California Center for Advocacy and Policy from 2013 to 2016, where she was a legislative assistant from 2010 to 2013. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Dodd is president of the Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center Board of Directors. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $153,689. Dodd is a Democrat.

 

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Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814


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