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Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 8.2.21

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Craig Scholer, 36, of Watsonville, has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Scholer has been Chief of Staff in the Office of Assemblymember Mark Stone since 2018, where he served in multiple positions from 2012 to 2018, including Legislative Director and Senior Legislative Aide. He was Campaign Manager for the Campaign of Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva in 2018. Scholer was an Analyst for the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in the Office of Supervisor Mark Stone in 2012. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $158,496. Scholer is a Democrat.

Mehdi Bettahar, 52, of Moreno Valley, has been appointed Assistant Deputy Director for Site Mitigation at the Department of Toxic Substances Control, where he has served as Exide Residential Cleanup Branch Chief since 2019 and was Hazardous Substances Engineer and Project Manager from 2018 to 2019. He was Technical Staff Manager at Parsons Corp from 2004 to 2018, a Researcher at the U.S. Salinity Laboratory – University of California, Riverside from 2001 to 2004 and Visiting Professor at Nagoya University from 1998 to 2000. Bettahar was Hazardous Substances Engineer and Project Manager at the Department of Toxic Substances Control from 1998 to 1999 and held several positions at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique from 1994 to 1998, including Doctoral Researcher and Post-Doctoral Researcher. Bettahar earned Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees in environmental science and engineering from Louis Pasteur University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $174,048. Bettahar is registered without party preference.

David R. O’Brien, 37, of West Sacramento, has been appointed to the California Student Aid Commission. O’Brien has been Vice Chancellor of Government Relations for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office since 2020. He served as Director of Government Affairs for the California Student Aid Commission from 2016 to 2020 and was Legislative Manager and Acting Assistant Director for Legislation at the California Department of Mental Health and State Hospitals from 2012 to 2016. O’Brien was Legislative Analyst at the California Department of Mental Health from 2010 to 2011. He was Student Legislative Assistant for the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2010. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. O’Brien is a Democrat.

Kyle B. Schmidt, 19, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the California Student Aid Commission. Schmidt has been Director of Regent Relations at the Office of Transfer Student Representative for the University of California, Los Angeles Student Association Council since 2021. He was President and Founder of the Active Minds Club at Pasadena City College in 2021. Schmidt was Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Phi-Theta Kappa at Pasadena City College from 2020 to 2021. He was President for the Pre-Law Club at Pasadena City College from 2020 to 2021. Schmidt has been Chief Justice at the Associated Students of Pasadena City College from 2020 to 2021. He was a Delegate for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges from 2020 to 2021. Schmidt was Chair of the Supreme Council at Pasadena City College from 2020 to 2021, where he was Associate Justice from 2019 to 2020. He was Sticker Shock Intern for Day ONE Pasadena from 2020 to 2021. Schmidt was Team Captain for the Mock Trial at Pasadena City College from 2020 to 2021. He was an Enumerator for the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Schmidt is a Libertarian.

Marci L. Baker, 57, of Clovis, has been reappointed to the Collateral Recovery Disciplinary Review Committee, where he has served since 2018. Baker has been General Manager at AOC Adjusters Fresno LTD since 1986. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Baker is a Republican.

Lisa K. Maloy, 55, of Laguna Niguel, has been reappointed to the Collateral Recovery Disciplinary Review Committee, where she has served since 2020. Maloy has been Manager at WM Maloy Co. since 1989. She earned a Master of Arts degree in speech communication from California State University, Long Beach. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Maloy is a Republican.

Leticia C. Sandoval, 54, of Lemon Grove, has been reappointed to the Collateral Recovery Disciplinary Review Committee, where she has served since 2020. Sandoval has been President at Stronger Communities since 2020, where she was Chief Executive Officer from 2013 to 2020. Sandoval has been Communicable Disease Investigator/Outbreak Management at the CDC Foundation since 2020. She was a Supervising Probation Officer for the County of San Diego from 1992 to 2013. Sandoval is a member of the COVID-19 Local Public Health School Leadership, the Liaison Group and the UCSF Virtual Training Academy. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Sandoval is a Democrat.

Ross E. Viselman, 49, of Imperial Beach, has been reappointed to the Collateral Recovery Disciplinary Review Committee, where he has served since 2018. Viselman has been a Risk Manager at Higgs Fletcher & Mack since 2019. He has been a Volunteer Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors since 2008. Viselman was a Senior Trial Counsel at the State Bar of California and an Adjunct Professor at the California School of Law from 2011 to 2019. Viselman was Senior Counsel for the Los Angeles Dodgers LLC from 2008 to 2011, an Associate at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP from 2006 to 2008, a Civil Litigation Associate at Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP from 2003 to 2005, and a Trial Attorney for Federal Public Defenders of San Diego Inc. from 1999 to 2003. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Viselman is registered without party preference.

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