OAKLAND – California Attorney Normal Rob Bonta today declared his executive team. The recently announced team provides with each other a wealth of knowledge and working experience to the California Department of Justice. Together, via a broad range of distinctive obligations, each team member will contribute to the general mission of serving the persons and passions of California.
Venus D. Johnson, Main Deputy Lawyer General. Venus will provide as the Lawyer General’s senior advisor and will oversee the Divisions of Authorized Affairs, Legislation Enforcement, Operations, Coverage, and Technological innovation, and the pursuing Executive programs: Place of work of Solicitor Typical, Feeling Unit, Equal Employment Legal rights and Resolution Place of work, and the Office of System Oversight and Accountability. With above 15 many years of lawful, legislation enforcement, and criminal justice experience, Venus has served in senior staff roles in the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Place of work, as properly as with the City of Oakland, and the California Office of Justice. She most recently served as Chief Assistant District Legal professional for District Attorney Diana Becton, exactly where she managed the total administration of the Contra Costa District Attorney’s place of work — overseeing the general functions, funds, and staff decisions of all units inside of the office environment and serving as the District Lawyer in her absence. Some of her many accomplishments in this role involve building the office’s to start with Conviction Integrity Device and Human Trafficking Device. Venus earlier served in the government business office of Lawyer Normal Kamala D. Harris as Associate Legal professional Common in which she oversaw the Legal professional General’s government group and served as a senior legal and policy advisor in the spots of civil, prison, customer protection, e-crimes, and environmental law. Prior to this function, Venus served as Deputy Attorney General/Legislative Advocate for California Lawyer General Kamala D. Harris and Deputy District Attorney for Alameda County District Lawyer Nancy O’Malley. Venus acquired a Juris Medical doctor from College of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts diploma in political science from Loyola Marymount College.
Viviana Becerra, Chief of Staff members. Viviana will provide as the Attorney General’s senior coverage advisor and will oversee the adhering to Govt systems: Business of Communications, Office environment of Native American Affairs, Business of External Affairs, Neighborhood Consciousness, Reaction, and Engagement Workforce, and the Office of Legislative Affairs. Viviana most recently served as Chief of Personnel and Legislative Director in the Business office of Assemblymember Bonta, where she oversaw staff members in Sacramento and Oakland. Some of her several accomplishments include things like staffing Assembly Invoice 32, which banned the use of for-earnings private prisons and immigration detention in California, creating a statewide procedure through Assembly Monthly bill 1793 to have eligible felony convictions for cannabis-relevant offenses eliminated or modified on people’s records, securing millions of dollars in funding for detailed human trafficking victim services, and playing an instrumental role in increasing overtime pay back for farmworkers. Prior to her Assembly services, Viviana worked as a legislative advocate for a previous minority and girl-owned federal government relations agency and served as a Funds Senate Fellow for former California Point out Senator Loni Hancock. Viviana gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the College of California, Santa Barbara. She is born and lifted in Sacramento and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants.
Francesca Gessner, Main of Policy. Francesca will serve as the Lawyer General’s primary authorized plan advisor and will be dependable for producing, handling, and executing the Attorney General’s coverage initiatives. She will coordinate and help in producing strategic investigations, litigation, and resolving big scenarios reflecting important priorities of the Attorney Normal. Francesca will also oversee a group of Special Assistant Attorneys Common who are billed with establishing and applying the Attorney General’s affirmative agenda. Prior to Francesca’s appointment, she served 15 many years in the San Francisco Metropolis Attorney’s Business, most recently as Common Counsel to the San Francisco General public Utilities Fee, where by she recommended on all legal concerns, which includes applicable metropolis, point out, and federal regulations, and supervised a staff of deputy metropolis attorneys. Francesca also labored as a San Francisco Deputy City Attorney on the Authorities group, serving as Typical Counsel to the Place of work of the Mayor and a multitude of San Francisco Commissions and Boards. Francesca also clerked for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Francesca earned a Juris Medical professional degree from Stanford Regulation Faculty and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Brown College.
Damon M. Brown, Exclusive Assistant Legal professional Common. Damon will provide as a lawful and coverage advisor on civil rights. He has above 15 a long time of encounter performing with some of the most prestigious personal law companies in California wherever he represented a numerous client foundation of public organizations and personal businesses in a selection of civil issues, such as labor and work, class action litigation, and constitutional and civil legal rights litigation. Damon most recently served as the Town Legal professional for the Town of Compton where, as the main authorized officer for the metropolis, he led an office environment of attorneys and personnel accountable for advising Compton City officials in matters pertaining to their workplaces, represented the Metropolis in civil litigation and code enforcement matters, prosecuted municipal code violations, reviewed all bonds and contracts, and brought affirmative litigation to guard the rights of individuals and citizens. Previously, Damon served on the State Bar Fee for Judicial Nominees Evaluation, as President of the John M. Langston Bar Affiliation of Los Angeles, Inc., the oldest and greatest bar affiliation in California for African American attorneys and judges, and the California Association of Black Lawyers. Damon gained a Juris Health practitioner from Vanderbilt University Regulation School and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and African American scientific tests from the College of California, Berkeley.
Eleanor Blume, Special Assistant Legal professional General. Eleanor will serve as a authorized and coverage advisor on economic justice. She provides practical experience doing work inside governing administration companies and departments determining and advancing strategic priorities. She has served as a Director at the Section of Defense, overseeing implementation of new polices to defend armed service households from abusive lending. She also served as Counsel at the Client Economical Security Bureau, furnishing authorized and policy direction on customer protection issues. All through her time as Senior Financial Advisor to previous Legal professional Common Xavier Becerra, she covered a broad spectrum of obligations including client defense, antitrust, and labor. Eleanor attained a Juris Medical doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Legislation, a Bachelor of Arts diploma in sociology from Wellesley School, and is a receiver of the Workplace of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence.
James Toma, Special Assistant Lawyer General. James will provide as a authorized and coverage advisor on well being issues. He statements a diverse legal and plan track record, most just lately serving as Supervising Deputy Attorney Common in the DOJ’s Charitable Trusts Portion at the California Department of Justice, exactly where he supervised investigations and enforcement steps, and reviewed transactions involving nonprofit hospitals and other charitable assets. He formerly labored in the California Division of Justice Customer Protection Section exactly where he litigated customer safety enforcement conditions, which includes home finance loan fraud issues. Prior to this, he was a litigator in the personal sector and was a legislative analyst in the California Condition Assembly. In addition to his entire-time get the job done, James lectures at the UCLA School of Law and has been lively in the Japanese American Bar Association. James retains a Juris Health practitioner degree from the College of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Master of Community Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of General public Coverage.
Matthew D. Goldberg, Specific Assistant Lawyer Typical. Matthew will provide as a lawful and policy advisor on labor, worker rights, and immigration. He has served as Deputy City Lawyer at the San Francisco Town Attorney’s Workplace for the very last 8 years. His docket of complicated affirmative litigation bundled steps in opposition to gig financial system companies for misclassifying employees, fossil fuel providers for contributing to climate alter, and the Trump Administration for unlawful rulemaking. Prior to this position, Matthew assisted manage the Town of San Francisco’s Workplace of Labor Requirements Enforcement, exactly where he secured thousands and thousands of bucks in unpaid healthcare gains for staff. Through his time as Workers Attorney and Director of the Unemployment and Wage Statements Venture at Lawful Assist at Work, Matthew represented minimal-wage personnel with wage theft and other work law statements and advocated for the growth of employee rights. Matthew has prepared and taught widely about California employment regulation. Matthew attained a Juris Health practitioner from the University of California, Hastings University of the Legislation and a Learn of Community Plan degree from Harvard University.
Michael Redding, Particular Assistant Attorney Typical. Michael will provide as a legal and policy advisor on legislation enforcement, firearms, and criminal justice. He most recently served as Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, where he assisted organize violence-reduction prosecution techniques with community law enforcement departments, task forces, and district attorney’s workplaces, focusing on firearm and gang conditions. He also implemented domestic violence prevention attempts as District Coordinator for the Violence In opposition to Women Act and as a member of the Sacramento Domestic Violence Loss of life Review Group. Prior, he served as Deputy District Legal professional in San Mateo County for much more than five many years, creating a extra collaborative domestic violence court in San Mateo. Michael received a Juris Doctor diploma from Harvard Law University and a Bachelor of Arts diploma in political science and philosophy from College of Notre Dame.
Victoria Sawyer, Exclusive Assistant to the Chief Deputy Lawyer Standard. Victoria will provide as a critical advisor to the Chief Deputy Lawyer General. Victoria has over 20 a long time of encounter in community policy administration, plan management, staff, spending budget, and reporting. She joined the California Division of Justice beneath former Lawyer Common Monthly bill Lockyer and has labored in various capacities for several DOJ applications because. For the previous 9 several years, Victoria has served as an integral member of the govt administration groups for previous Lawyers General Kamala D. Harris and Xavier Becerra. Her numerous duties bundled changeover of the new administrations, institution of the Attorneys General’s organizational composition, and modernization of many administrative procedures and procedures. Victoria gained a Bachelor of Science diploma in accounting from California Condition College, Sacramento.
Yana Garcia, Specific Assistant Legal professional Standard. Yana will serve as a lawful and coverage advisor on environmental legislation matters pertaining to the setting, land law, and natural methods sections of the Legal professional General’s Place of work. She formerly served as the Deputy Secretary for Environmental Justice, Tribal Affairs and Border Relations at the California Environmental Defense Agency, where she recommended the Governor’s Office on problems associated to cleanse air, local weather justice, ingesting h2o, wastewater, water legal rights, and hazardous publicity to pesticide and oil and fuel output-similar emissions. She has also litigated environmental circumstances as an legal professional for Earthjustice, assisted judges with trials at the San Francisco Outstanding Court docket as a Legal Analysis Lawyer, and defended susceptible communities during California from environmental injustices as a Staff members Legal professional for Communities for a Far better Environment. Yana earned a Juris Medical doctor from Northeastern College College of Regulation and a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Laura Stuber, Chief Advisor to the Chief Deputy Attorney Basic. Laura will serve as a senior lawful and policy adviser to the Chief Deputy and deal with superior-profile projects for the Attorney Normal and Chief Deputy. She will establish and manage an integrated established of adjust administration designs and devise techniques that will advantage the division and the Lawyer Common. Laura has over 20 many years of knowledge as a senior supervisor and political strategist in equally the legislative and govt branch of the federal governing administration. She served as Plan Director beneath previous Attorney General Xavier Becerra. She was earlier appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Senior Counsel to the U.S. Section of Well being and Human Services and has served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Long term Subcommittee on Investigations, running Congressional oversight inquiries with regards to the Very affordable Treatment Act and leading numerous intricate and large-stakes investigations of main U.S. and worldwide money establishments. She has abilities in numerous parts, which includes managing delicate public plan issues, Place of work of Overseas Belongings Manage sanctions, anti-cash laundering, tax havens, shell companies, U.S. tax compliance, Dodd-Frank Wall Road Reform, Buyer Security Act, Very affordable Treatment Act, and the Overseas Corrupt Methods Act. Laura attained a Juris Health care provider from Drake University Law College and retains a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Vanderbilt College.
Bethany Lesser, Director of Communications. Bethany will serve as an advisor on all plan matters connected to the media and provide as the chief spokesperson for the Division of Justice. Bethany has nearly 20 years of communications working experience dealing with sensitive and large-profile concerns and will oversee the communications workforce and inside communications for the government section, including legal and regulation enforcement divisions. Bethany served as Communications Director for previous Attorney Typical Xavier Becerra, where she led communications functions on big federal lawsuits, including defending the Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals and the Economical Care Act. Previously, she served as a presidential appointee in the Overseas Non-public Investment Company (OPIC), advertising and marketing non-public sector-led sustainable improvement. Prior to that, Bethany was Communications Director for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, in which she developed and executed a statewide and national media tactic. She efficiently led communications for Mark Begich’s Coordinated Marketing campaign for U.S. Senate, and served as Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. Bethany attained a Master of Community Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the Condition College of New York at Albany.
Joanne Adams, Deputy Director of Interactions. Joanne will serve as an advisor to the Attorney General and supervisor for the Lawyer General’s communications and digital teams. Joanne has eight yrs of experience working in communications and California general public plan. Joanne served as Deputy Director of Communications for previous Lawyer General Xavier Becerra, aiding lead the California Section of Justice’s communications, push, and electronic groups dependable for equally exterior and inside communications. She earlier served as Associate Director of Communications at the California Health-related Association, exactly where she led productive media strategies connected to California’s Tobacco Tax and health policy issues. She served as a Push Aide in the Workplace of former California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and in various roles, including Push Secretary and Distinctive Assistant to the Speaker, in the Workplace of former California State Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins. Joanne gained a Bachelor of Arts diploma in comparative literature and French from the University of California, Berkeley and completed a 12 months of review at Université de Lumière Lyon 2.
Izzy Gardon, Government Speechwriter. Izzy will provide as the Lawyer General’s speechwriter. Izzy joins the Legal professional General’s Workplace adhering to his place as Digital Director at Grace Community Affairs where by he labored on several political campaigns like Xavier Becerra for Lawyer Standard, Rob Bonta for Lawyer Common, Ricardo Lara for Insurance policy Commissioner, and No on Proposition 20. In this situation, he was responsible for digital communications and day by day operation tasks for the strategies – such as writing remarks, conversing details, fundraising e-mails, online video scripts, social media posts, opinion editorials, and endorsement offers. Prior to this part, Izzy served as Assistant Deputy Director of Digital Media in the Business of Governor Gavin Newsom, Assistant Press Secretary in the Place of work of former Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and was an Govt Fellow with the Cash Fellows Software. Izzy retains a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Seattle University and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Plan and Federal government from California State College, Sacramento.
Catherina Nou, Director of Care. Catherina will serve as the Director of the Place of work of Community Awareness, Reaction, and Engagement (Treatment). Catherina joins the Legal professional General’s Place of work with approximately 15 several years of numerous knowledge in management specializing in plan advocacy and application improvement for governmental and nonprofit businesses. Earlier, Catherina served as the Main of Staff members for Sacramento City Councilmember Mai Vang, Senior Coverage Guide for Assemblymember David Chiu, and Chief of Personnel for Assemblymember Mariko Yamada. Prior to individuals roles, she served as Main Marketing consultant for the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and founded the coverage arm for Every day Impression Consulting. Catherina attained a Grasp of Arts diploma in instructional leadership and plan reports from California State College, Sacramento and a Bachelor of Arts diploma in psychology from the University of California, Davis. Catherina is a Central Valley native and sister and daughter of Cambodian refugees.
Maheen Ahmed, Deputy Director of Treatment. Maheen will provide as Deputy Director of the Office of Local community Consciousness, Response, and Engagement (Care). Maheen most lately served as Legislative Director within the Office of Assemblymember Rob Bonta, where she was the 1st Muslim Legislative Director in the heritage of the California state legislature. In this role, Maheen crafted and oversaw progressive finances and coverage priorities on a vast array of difficulties impacting Californians and staffed various charges signed into legislation. Prior to this, Maheen served in different capacities at the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She serves as a Community Organizing Trainer for the Muslim Power Setting up Project and Board Member for Sacramento Location Congregations Alongside one another. Maheen was an Assembly Fellow, earned a Master of Community Administration degree from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Science degree in group and regional progress from the University of California, Davis.
Amy C. Alley, Director of Office of Legislative Affairs. Amy will provide as a significant-stage plan advisor in the development and advocacy of legislation. Amy joins the Lawyer General’s Office with 20 several years of knowledge performing in the community sector. Beforehand, Amy served as a principal specialist to Senate President professional Tempore Toni G. Atkins exactly where she worked on laws and significant concerns regarding public basic safety, policing, prison justice, and gender and racial equity. Prior, Amy served as a Deputy Legal professional Normal in the Office environment of Legislative Affairs for previous Attorneys Typical Xavier Becerra and Kamala D. Harris where by she assisted in the improvement of legislative priorities for the Attorney Common, represented the department before the Legislature, and offered specialized support and consultation to Legislators and personnel, committee consultants, and program staff members. She also served as a Legislative and Communications Director for former Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Sandre Swanson just after shelling out various many years as a deputy with the Office environment of Legislative Counsel. Amy earned a Juris Health practitioner degree from the College of California, Davis and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and journalism from California Condition College, Sacramento.
Merri Lopez-Keifer, Director of Office of Native American Affairs. Merri will serve as a legal and policy advisor on tribal affairs. Merri joins the Attorney General’s Workplace subsequent about 15 yrs serving as the Main Authorized Counsel for the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians (SLR), where she worked to guard Luiseño lifestyle, cultural assets, sacred burial and ceremonial web-sites, and history. In that ability, she advised the SLR Tribal Council on environmental impacts to tribal cultural assets, health care legal rights, weather modify, NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA repatriation troubles, kid welfare, and house legal rights. Merri also served as an Assistant District Attorney at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Business office for 6 many years where by she specialized in the area of domestic violence prosecutions. She also worked as a non-public practice legal professional the place she furnished strategic counsel to Native American advocacy companies. Merri attained a Juris Doctor from Boston University Law University and a Bachelor of Arts in legislation and society with unique emphasis in legal justice from the College of California, Santa Barbara.
Edwin Saucedo, Director of External Affairs. Edwin will provide as Director of Exterior Affairs. Edwin joins the Lawyer General’s Office environment pursuing his time as a Senior Legislative Aide in the Business office of Assemblymember Rob Bonta. In that ability, he was dependable for earning coverage tips and representing the Assemblymember in conferences with constituents, lobbyists, and advocates across 12 challenge parts. Beforehand, Edwin served as Senior World Approach Associate at Delta Airlines, Campaign Manager for Ga House of Representative Nincoe Byrd, and Assembly Fellow for California Assembly District 18. Edwin attained a Master of Public Administration degree from the College of Southern California, a Master of World wide Affairs diploma from Tsinghua University in Beijing as a Schwarzman Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree in public coverage from the College of Southern California.
Reina Orellana, Director of Scheduling. Reina will provide as Director of Scheduling. With over 15 a long time of knowledge in client support and assist roles within the personal and general public sectors, Reina will keep on her part as Scheduling Director within just the Lawyer General’s Office environment. Reina earlier served as the Scheduling Director for former Attorneys General Xavier Becerra and Kamala D. Harris. Her obligations will involve handling exterior and inner correspondence with the Legal professional Standard, coordinating community and private collaboration projects directed at the Department of Justice’s consumer safety obligations, and sustaining the calendar for the Lawyer Typical. Beforehand, she served as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office where by she was accountable for a range of clerical and help features. Reina retains a Real Estate Salesperson License, Tax Preparer License, and is presently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts diploma in company administration from the University of La Verne.
Leandra Mekata, Deputy Director of Scheduling. Leandra will serve as Deputy Director of Scheduling. Leandra joins the Legal professional General’s Place of work next 12 decades of doing work in the California State Assembly. In her most new role, she served as the Govt Secretary in the Place of work of former Assemblymember Rob Bonta. In this situation, she served as a community liaison, managed correspondence amongst the Assemblymember and elected officials, legislative employees, public businesses, lobbyists, community-based corporations, and constituents as well as coordinated travel arrangements and tracked appointments, conferences, and activities.