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Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 7.25.23

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Krystal Acierto, of Rocklin, has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Public Policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Acierto has served as a Principal Program Budget Analyst III at the California Department of Finance since 2019 and was a Finance Budget Analyst there from 2016 to 2019. Acierto was an Associate Governmental Program Analyst in the California Office of the Inspector General from 2015 to 2016. She was an Environmental Scientist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife from 2012 to 2015. Acierto earned a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento and a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Plant Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,004. Acierto is registered without party preference.

Nefretiri Cooley, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Secretary, Communications and External Affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Cooley has served as Deputy Director of Communications at the California State Water Resources Control Board since 2020. She was Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of the Pacific from 2018 to 2020. She was Executive Director of Marketing and Communication, Student Affairs at the University of California, Davis from 2015 to 2018, where she also served as Director of Marketing and Communication, Student Affairs from 2011 to 2015. Cooley earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Arts degree in Publication Design from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Rhetoric and Communication from the University of California, Davis. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $168,432. Cooley is a Democrat.

Scott Lichtig, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Secretary of Environmental Policy and Emergency Response at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Lichtig has served as a Deputy Attorney General in the California Attorney General’s Office since 2013. He was Associate General Counsel at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency from 2009 to 2013 and an Associate at Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP from 2007 to 2009. He was Contracts & Grants Counsel for the University of California, San Francisco in 2007 and a Law Clerk at Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker from 2005 to 2006. Lichtig earned a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Stanford University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $179,832. Lichtig is a Democrat.

Hank Brady, of Sacramento, has been appointed Director, Office of Governmental Affairs at the California Public Utilities Commission. Brady has been a Committee Consultant for the California State Assembly Local Government Committee since 2020. He served as SB 1383 Implementation Manager with the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery from 2016 to 2020 and was Chief Legislative Consultant there from 2014 to 2016. Brady was a Legislative Aide in the Office of State Assemblymember Marc Levine from 2012 to 2014. He was a California Senate Fellow in the Office of State Senator Joe Simitian from 2011 to 2012. Brady earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from California State University, Chico. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $151,728. Brady is a Democrat.

Clair Whitmer, of Vallejo, has been appointed Assistant Deputy Director of Regional Economic Engagement and Northern California Regional Advisor in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Whitmer has served as Northern California Regional Advisor at GO-Biz since 2021. She was CEO of UpBay Express from 2019 to 2023. Whitmer was an Executive Fellow for the City of Fresno Economic Development Department from 2019 to 2021. She was Head of Consumer Experience for Maker Media from 2014 to 2019. Whitmer was Senior Director of Media Operations at Slashdot Media for Dice Holdings from 2011 to 2014. She was Director of Voter Outreach for the Overseas Vote Foundation from 2009 to 2010. Whitmer was News Editor and Director of Content Services for CNET Networks from 1996 to 2000. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $120,000. Whitmer is a Democrat.

Tim Haines, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board. Haines has been Principal at Grid & Power Symmetry since 2021. He was Interim General Manager for California Community Power from 2021 to June 2023. Haines was Deputy General Manager for Energy, State Water Contractors from 2009 to 2019. He was a Deputy Director at the Department of Water Resources from 2006 to 2010 and Special Assistant to Chairman of the Board at the California ISO from 2003 to 2005. Haines was a Consultant with Navigant Consulting from 2000 to 2003 and an Engineer for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District from 1988 to 2000. Haines earned a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Haines is a Democrat.

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