Sacramento, California - Governor Gavin Newsom announced the following appointments:
Somjita Mitra, 42, of Orange, has been appointed Chief Economist at the California Department of Finance, where she has served as Chief of Economic Research since 2019. Mitra was Director of the Institute for Applied Economics at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation from 2017 to 2019 and was an Economist there from 2013 to 2017. Mitra was Senior Economist at the Recon Research Corporation from 2008 to 2012. She was Project Director at Horizon Consumer Science from 2007 to 2008. Mitra earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics and a Master of Arts degree in politics, economics and business from Claremont Graduate University. She is a member of the Council for Community and Economic Research and National Association for Business Economics. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,304. Mitra is a Democrat.
Elijah “Eli” E. Owen, 40, of Sacramento, has been appointed Assistant Director of Recovery Operations at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, where he has served as Commander of the State Threat Assessment Center since 2015. Owen was an Intelligence Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2014. He is a member of the American Society for Public Administration – Sacramento Chapter and the University of Southern California Alumni Board – Sacramento Chapter. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree at the University of Southern California. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $148, 800. Owen is a Democrat.
Jesse N. Auld, 40, of Rancho Cordova, has been appointed State Threat Assessment Center Supervisor at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, where he has served as Acting Supervisor since 2020 and Senior Intelligence Analyst since 2017. He was a Senior All-Source Intelligence Analyst and Team Lead with the U.S. Department of Defense from 2015 to 2017. He was a mid-level All-Source Intelligence Analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2014 to 2015. Auld was an active duty enlisted U.S. Army Specialist in the U.S. Army from 2011 to 2014. He is an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes. Auld earned a Master of Science degree in intelligence analysis from Johns Hopkins University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $115,332. Auld is a Democrat.
Kristin K. Montgomery, 53, of Sacramento, has been appointed Director of Enterprise Information Systems at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where she has served as Deputy Director since 2018. Montgomery was Controller at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System from 2013 to 2018. She was Owner and Consultant at Dolamont Consulting Inc. from 2006 to 2013. Montgomery earned a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Hayward. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $183,348. Montgomery is a Democrat.
Sarah E. Larson, 34, of Sacramento, has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Larson has served as Deputy Director of Program Support for the Division of Rehabilitative Programs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2020, where she held several positions from 2016 to 2020, including Associate Director for the Budget Management Branch and Chief of Administration and Operations Budget. She was a Policy Analyst in the Office of State Senator Jim Beall from 2015 to 2016. Larson was a Fiscal and Policy Analyst at the Legislative Analyst’s Office from 2013 to 2015. She earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $164,136. Larson is a Democrat.
Anita Fisher, 64, of Spring Valley, has been appointed to the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health. Fisher has been Chief Executive Officer and Consultant at Fisher Mental Health Consulting since 2018. She was Director of Education at National Alliance on Mental Illness, San Diego from 2007 to 2018. Fisher held several positions at Union Bank from 1995 to 2007, including Vice President and Business Systems Analyst V and Assistant Vice President and Product Manager. She is a member of the NAACP Mental Health and Policing Sub Committee, the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team Advisory Board and the San Diego County Probation Chief’s Advisory Board. Fisher is an Ambassador for A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing). This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Fisher is a Democrat.