California Governor Announces Appointments 10.26.21

SACRAMENTO CA (STL.News) Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments:

Melissa Stafford Jones, 51, of Walnut Creek, has been appointed Director for the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative at the California Health and Human Services Agency.  Stafford Jones has been Executive Director of First 5 Association of California since 2020.  She was Executive Director of the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation from 2017 to 2020 and Regional Director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Region IX from 2014 to 2017.  Stafford Jones was President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems from 2005 to 2013, where she was Vice President and Director of Policy from 2000 to 2005.  She was Regional Vice President of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California from 1998 to 2000 and a Senior Research Analyst for the Legislative Counsel Bureau of the Nevada State Legislature from 1997 to 1998.  She is a member of the Saint Mary’s College School of Science Dean’s Advisory Board and the City of Walnut Creek Diversity, Equity Inclusion Task Force.  Stafford Jones earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $192,000.  Stafford Jones is a Democrat.

Corrin Buchanan, 38, of El Cerrito, has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Policy and Strategic Planning at the California Health and Human Services Agency.  Buchanan has been Assistant Director of Housing and Homelessness for the California Department of Social Services since 2020.  She was Deputy Director of the Office of Diversion and Reentry with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services from 2017 to 2020, where she was Housing Director from 2016 to 2017 and Program Manager with the Housing for Health Division from 2013 to 2016.  Buchanan was Health Program Planner and Project Manager for the San Francisco Department of Public Health from 2012 to 2013.  Buchanan earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.  This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $190,008. Buchanan is a Democrat.

Brendan McCarthy, 46, of Davis, has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Program and Fiscal Affairs at the California Health and Human Services Agency.  McCarthy has been Assistant Secretary for the California Health and Human Services Agency since 2019.  He was Chief Consultant for the California State Assembly Committee on Business and Professions from 2018 to 2019, Principal Consultant for the California State Senate Committee on Appropriations from 2009 to 2018 and Senior Fiscal and Policy Analyst at the Legislative Analyst’s Office from 2004 to 2009.  McCarthy earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.  This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $190,008.  McCarthy is a Democrat.

John Ohanian, 52, of Sacramento, has been appointed Director of the Center for Data Insights and Innovation and Chief Data Officer at the California Health and Human Services Agency, where he has served as Interim Director of the Center for Data Insights and Innovation and Chief Data Officer since 2020.  Ohanian was President and Chief Executive Officer of 211 San Diego from 2007 to 2020 and President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Information Exchange from 2012 to 2020.  He was Principal Consultant for Strategic Organizational Solutions from 1996 to 2007, Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer for the Jewish Community Foundation San Diego from 1994 to 1996 and Auditor and Consultant for KPMG from 1991 to 1994.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,004. Ohanian is a Democrat.

Ryan Buckley, 44, of West Sacramento, has been appointed Chief Counsel at the California Department of Health Care Access and Information.  Buckley has been an Attorney IV for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development since 2018 and Acting Chief Counsel since 2019.  He was an Attorney III at the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development from 2016 to 2018, where he served as an Attorney from 2014 to 2016.  He was Principal for the Law Offices of Ryan A. Buckley from 2011 to 2014, an Associate at Hardy Erich Brown & Wilson LLP from 2008 to 2011 and Outside Counsel for the Children’s Village Healthcare Centers from 2007 to 2008.  Buckley was Associate Counsel for Petrovich Development Company from 2004 to 2007, Certified Law Student for the Business and Community Development Clinic from 2002 to 2003 and Small Claims Mediator for the Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission of Sacramento from 2002 to 2003.  Buckley earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $175,248.  Buckley is registered without party preference.

Christina Edens, 45, of Sacramento, has been appointed Chief Deputy Director of Program Services for the California Department of State Hospitals.  Edens has been Deputy Director for the Forensic Services Division for the California Department of State Hospitals since 2019, where she was Assistant Deputy Director from 2016 to 2019.  She was Acting Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Fiscal Planning at the California Department of State Hospitals from 2012 to 2016, where she served as the Budget Officer from 2011 to 2012.  She held multiple positions at the California Department of Mental Health from 1998 to 2011, including Special Projects/Staff Information Systems Analyst, Hospital Operations Program Manager, Hospital Fiscal Program Analyst, Associate Budget Analyst, Contract Analyst, Cooperative Employment Program Analyst and Office Technician.  This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $172,068. Edens is a Democrat.

Brent Houser, 31, of West Sacramento, has been appointed Chief Deputy Director of Operations for the California Department of State Hospitals.  Houser has been Deputy Director for the California Department of State Hospitals since 2021.  He was Principal Program Budget Analyst for the California Department of Finance from 2019 to 2021 and held multiple positions at the California Department of State Hospitals from 2016 to 2019, including Assistant Budget Officer, Staff Services Manager II and Staff Services Manager I.  Houser was a Staff Services Manager I at the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development from 2015 to 2016, where he was Health Program Specialist I from 2014 to 2015.  He was an Associate Governmental Program Analyst for the Health Professions Education Foundation from 2014 to 2015, where he was a Staff Services Analyst from 2012 to 2013.  Houser earned a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Sacramento.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $172,068.  Houser is registered without party preference.

Ryan Gillette, 35, of San Francisco, has been appointed Deputy Director and Chief Data Officer at the California Department of Social Services.  Gillette has been Director of Public Sector Practice for Social Finance Inc. since 2019.  He was Program Director of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Performance Lab from 2014 to 2019, where he was Social Impact Bond Government Innovation Fellow from 2012 to 2014.  He was a Research Assistant for the National Bureau of Economic Research from 2008 to 2011 and Research Assistant at Harvard University from 2008 to 2009. Gillette earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $163,344. Gillette is a Democrat.

Jason Wimbley, 51, of Elk Grove, has been reappointed Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Community Services and Development, where he has served in that position since 2013.  Wimbley served in multiple positions at the California Department of Community Services and Development from 1993 to 2013, including Chief of Energy and Environmental Programs, Program Manager, Program Analyst and Office Assistant.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $151,176. Wimbley is a Democrat.