Governor Brown Announces First Appointments

Governor Jerry Brown announced his first gubernatorial appointments this past week. 
 
John Laird, of Santa Cruz, has been appointed Secretary of the California Resources Agency.  Most recently, Laird taught in the Environmental Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz.  He served six years in the State Assembly, from 2002 to 2008, and was the Assembly Budget Committee Chair from 2004 to 2008. Previously, Laird was a member of the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2002.  He was the Executive Director for the Santa Cruz AIDS Project from 1991 to 1993.  Laird was Mayor and a City Councilmember for the city of Santa Cruz from 1981 to 1990.  This position requires Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $175,000. Laird is a Democrat.
 
Marty Morgenstern, of Oakland, has been appointed Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Since 2003, Morgenstern has consulted for the University of California on labor relations matters.  He was director of the Department of Personnel Administration from 1999 to 2003.  1994 to 1999, he worked as a private consultant to various labor organizations.  Morgenstern was the Chair of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California, Berkeley from 1987 to 1994.  From 1982 to 1987, he served as a member of the Public Employment Relations Board. Morgenstern served as the Director of the Department of Personnel Administration from 1981 to 1982.  In 1975, he was appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations by Governor Jerry Brown.  This position requires Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $175,000. Morgenstern is a Democrat.
 
Mary Nichols, of Los Angeles, has been reappointed Chair of the California Air Resources Board, where she has served since 2007.  From 2004 to 2007, Nichols served as director of the Institute of the Environment (IoE) at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also held faculty appointments as a professor in residence at the School of Law and the School of Public Affairs.  Before joining UCLA, she served as secretary for California’s Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003.  Nichols served as chair of the California Air Resources Board from 1979 to 1983 under Governor Brown and was a member of the CARB beginning in 1975.  She served as assistant administrator for Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton Administration.  Compensation for this position is $142,965. Nichols is a Democrat.
 
Ronald Yank, of Oakland, has been appointed Director of the Department of Personnel Administration.  He is a retired labor and employment law attorney.  Previously, Yank served as a neutral arbitrator and mediator in the field of labor and employment law from 2007 to 2009 and was a partner at Carroll Burdick & McDonough from 1988 to 2007.  Yank was a partner at Neyhart Anderson & Freitas from 1981 to 1988.  Previously, he worked at Carroll Burdick & McDonough from 1974 to1981 and became a partner in 1979.  Yank was an associate at Neyhart Anderson Grodin & Beeson from 1973 to 1974.  He was an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley from 1967 to 1971 and worked at the Law Offices of R.J. Engel as an Associate from 1971-1973.  Yank has represented bargaining units of state employees including the California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association and the CDF Firefighters.  This position requires Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $142,965.  Yank is a Democrat.
 
Brown also announced the following State Board of Education appointments:
 
Dr. Carl Anthony Cohn, of Palm Springs, has been appointed to the California State Board of Education.  He has been a Professor and the Co-Director of the Urban Leadership Program at Claremont Graduate University since 2009.  Previously, Cohn served as the Superintendent of Schools for the San Diego Unified School District from 2005 to 2007.  He was a Clinical Professor with the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California from 2002 to 2005 and the Superintendent of Schools for the Long Beach Unified School District from 1992 to 2002.  Cohn is a member of the Association of California School Administrators.  Cohn is a Democrat.
 
Louis “Bill” Honig, of Marin, has been appointed to the California State Board of Education.  He has been President of the Consortium on Reading Excellence since 2005.  Previously, Honig served as a Visiting Distinguished Professor at San Francisco State University’s School of Education from 1993 to 1998.  He was the Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1983 to 1993.  Honig previously served on the California State Board of Education under Governor Brown from 1975 to 1983.  Honig is a Democrat.
 
Dr. Michael Kirst, of Stanford, has been appointed to the California State Board of Education.  He currently serves as a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1969.   Previously, Kirst served on the California State Board of Education under Governor Brown from 1975 to 1982.  Kirst also served as the Director of Program Planning for the U.S. Office of Education and was Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment, and Poverty from 1967 to 1969.  Kirst is a Democrat.
 
Aida Molina, of Bakersfield, has been appointed to the California State Board of Education.  She has served as the Executive Director on Academic Improvement and Accountability for Bakersfield City School District since 2005.  Previously, Molina was a Commissioner with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing from 2004 to 2007.  Molina was a principal with Bakersfield City School District from 2001 to 2005, an elementary school principal with the Sacramento Unified School District from 1999 to 2001, an assistant principal with the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District from 1997 to 1999, and a bilingual teacher from 1992 to 1997.  Molina is a member of the Association of School Administrators and the California Association of Bilingual Educators.  Molina is a Democrat.
 
James Ramos, of San Bernardino, has been appointed to the California State Board of Education.  Ramos has served as the Chairman for the San Manuel Band of Indians since 2008, having previously served as Treasurer, as a member of the Business Committee, and as Chairman of the Tribe’s Gaming Commission.  Ramos was re-elected in 2010 as a member of the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees, where he has served since 2005.  He has served as a member and chairperson of the Native American Heritage Commission since 2007.  Ramos is a Democrat.
 
Patricia Ann Rucker, of Elk Grove, has been appointed to the California State Board of Education.  Since 2008, she has worked as the Legislative Advocate for the California Teachers Association and was a consultant for the California Teachers Association on instruction and professional development from 1997 to 2008.  She also served as a teacher in the Del Paso Heights School District from 1983 to 1997.  Rucker is a Democrat.
 
Trish Boyd Williams, of San Jose, has been appointed to the California State Board of Education.  She has served as the Executive Director for EdSource since 1992.  Previously, Williams served as a program consultant to the Director for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth from 1983 to 1990, and as a Presidential Management Intern and then a Management Analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1979 to 1982.  Williams is a Democrat.
 
State Board of Education appointments require Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $100 per diem.