Governor Newsom Announces Appointments
SACRAMENTO November 14, 2023 – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:
Sarah Izant, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Climate Policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Izant has served as Manager of State and Federal Affairs in the Office San Francisco Mayor London Breed since 2022 and has served in several roles there since 2019, including Environmental Policy Advisor and Deputy Press Director. She was an Advisor at the California Public Utilities Commission from 2018 to 2019. Izant was an Executive Fellow at the California Air Resources Board from 2017 to 2018. She was a Constituent Services Representative in the Office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein from 2016 to 2017. Izant was a Fulbright-Garcia Robles English Teaching Assistant from 2015 to 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Analysis and Hispanic Studies from Scripps College. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,004. Izant is a Democrat.
Charlton (Chuck) Bonham, of Berkeley, has been reappointed to the Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission, where he has served since 2011. Bonham has served as Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife since 2011. He was Senior Attorney at Trout Unlimited from 2000 to 2011. Bonham was a member of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy Board from 2010 to 2011. He served as a Small Business Development Agent for the U.S. Peace Corps from 1991 to 1993. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Bonham is a Democrat.
Barbara Emley, of San Francisco, has been reappointed to the Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission, where she has served since 2011. Emley has been Office Manager of the San Francisco Community Fishing Association since 2011. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Emley is a Democrat.
Ryan Sundberg, of McKinleyville, has been appointed to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. Sundberg has been General Manager of Cher-Ae Heights Casino since 2019. He was a Humboldt County District Supervisor from 2010 to 2018. Sundberg was Owner of Sundberg Insurance Agency from 2002 to 2009. He was a member of the Trinidad Rancheria Tribal Council from 1996 to 2010. Sundberg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Humboldt State University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Sundberg is registered without party preference.
Robert Pearce, of Chalfant, has been appointed to the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Pearce held several roles at the Natural Resources Conservation Service from 2003 to 2022, including District Conservationist and Acting State Rangeland Management Specialist. He was a Plant Ecologist at Pacifica Services Inc. from 2001 to 2002. Pearce was an Ecologist at Resource Concepts Inc. from 1998 to 2001. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University, a Master of Science degree in Rangeland Science from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Pearce is a Republican.
Sixto “Al” Lopez, of Corona, has been appointed to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. Lopez served as a Member of the Western Municipal Water District Board of Directors from 2001 to 2020. He was Founder of Inland Empire Infill Homes from 2017 to 2020. Lopez was Community Relations Manager for Continental East Development Inc. from 2018 to 2020. He was a Member of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board of Directors from 2005 to 2007. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Lopez is registered without party preference.
Benjamin Bashein, of Rancho Mirage, has been appointed to the State Park and Recreation Commission. Bashein has been Executive Director of The Skatepark Project since 2020. He was Vice President of Partnerships & Communications for CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) from 2018 to 2020. Bashein was a Consultant at Benjamin Anderson Bashein Consulting from 2016 to 2020. He was Deputy Executive Director at Acria from 2007 to 2017. Bashein earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Emerson College. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Bashein is a Democrat.
Vicente Sarmiento, of Santa Ana, has been appointed to the California Volunteers Commission. Sarmiento has been Second District Supervisor on the Orange County Board of Supervisors since 2023 and Principal Attorney at the Law Offices of Vincent F. Sarmiento since 2001. He was Mayor of the City of Santa Ana from 2020 to 2022. Sarmiento was a Santa Ana City Councilmember from 2007 to 2020. He is a member of the board of directors of Orange County Discovery Cube, CalOptima Health, Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County Housing Finance Trust and the Orange County Commission to End Homelessness. Sarmiento was President of the Orange County Water District Board from 2019 to 2020 and is a member of NewDEAL and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, where he was a member of the Board of Directors from 2016 to 2019. Sarmiento earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Sarmiento is a Democrat.
Jennifer Gonzales, of Napa, has been appointed to the State 9-1-1 Advisory Board. Gonzales has been Chief of Police for the City of Napa Police Department since 2021, where she was Police Captain from 2015 to 2021. She was a Lecturer at California State University, Chico in the Political Science Department from 2009 to 2015. Gonzales served in several roles at the City of Chico Police Department from 1995 to 2015, including Police Officer through Lieutenant. She was part-time Community Service Officer and Dispatcher for the California State University, Chico Police Department from 1993 to 1995. Gonzales is a member of the Napa NEWS Board, California Massage Therapy Council Board of Directors, Napa Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, Napa County Community Corrections Partnership Committee and the California Police Chiefs Association. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from California State University, Chico and a Master of Arts degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management from California State University, Dominguez Hills. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Gonzales is a Republican.