Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced several new appointments to key posts in his administration.
Tomás Aragón, 61, of San Francisco, has been appointed Director of the California Department of Public Health. Aragón has been Health Officer for the City and County of San Francisco and Director of the Population Health Division for the San Francisco Department of Public Health since 2011. He has been Volunteer Faculty for the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health since 2004. He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School, a Doctor of Public Health Degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $275,650. Aragón is a Democrat.
Elizabeth Landsberg, 51, of Sacramento, has been appointed Director of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Landsberg has been Deputy Director of the Help Center for the California Department of Managed Health Care since 2016. She was Director of Policy Advocacy for the Western Center on Law and Poverty from 2006 to 2016, Supervising Attorney for the Health Rights Hotline at Legal Services of Northern California from 2000 to 2006 and a Law Clerk at the U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico from 1999 to 2000. She was a Ruth Chance Law Fellow for Equal Rights Advocates from 1998 to 1999. Landsberg earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $192,402. Landsberg is a Democrat.
Mary Watanabe, 48, of Roseville, has been appointed Director of the California Department of Managed Health Care, where she has served as Acting Director since 2020 and as Acting Chief Deputy Director since 2019. She was Deputy Director for Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations for the California Department of Managed Health Care from 2015 to 2019 and Deputy Director of the Sales Division for Covered California from 2013 to 2015. Watanabe was Staff Services Manager I at the California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board from 2012 to 2013, where she was a Research/Health Program Specialist I from 2008 to 2012. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $186,389. Watanabe is registered without party preference.
Trelynd D.J. Bradley, 27, of Los Angeles, has been appointed Senior Business Development Specialist at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, where he has served in that role since 2019. Bradley was a Policy Analyst at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research from 2018 to 2019, where he served as an Executive Fellow with the Capital Fellows Program from 2017 to 2018. He was a Staff Assistant in the Hemet Office of Congressman Raul Ruiz from 2016 to 2017, Business Manager for Black Cat Fireworks from 2010 to 2017 and a Policy Intern for Los Angeles World Airports in 2015 and for the Ontario International Airport Authority in 2016. Bradley is a member of the University of California, Riverside Alumni Association and Director-at-Large of the Capital Fellows Alumni Association. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $105,036. Bradley is a Democrat.
Matt LaVere, 41, of Ventura, has been appointed Supervisor for the 1st District of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. LaVere has been Mayor of the City of Ventura since 2018 and a Principal at LaVere Huff LLP since 2018. He was Of Counsel at Jones & Lester LLP from 2013 to 2017 and an Associate at Goldenring & Prosser APLC from 2010 to 2013 and at Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones & Schneider LLP from 2006 to 2010. LaVere is a member of the Ventura College Foundation and the Ventura City Council Homeless and Affordable Housing Subcommittee. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation. LaVere is a Democrat.
Juan Sánchez Muñoz, 53, of Merced, has been appointed to the Strategic Growth Council. Munoz has been Chancellor of the University of California, Merced since 2020. He was President of the University of Houston-Downtown from 2017 to 2020 and held multiple positions at Texas Tech University from 2004 to 2017, including Vice Provost of Student Affairs, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, Senior Vice President, Associate Vice Provost of Faculty and Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Program Coordinator and Associate Vice Provost. Munoz earned a Doctor of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Arts degree in Mexican American studies from California State University, Los Angeles. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Munoz is registered without party preference.