Brown names Diana Dooley to head Health and Human Services

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown has named Diana Dooley, the head of the California Children’s Hospital Association, to run the state Health and Human Services Agency.

Brown also announced that he would retain Ana Matosantos as director of the state Department of Finance, the most powerful position in the state bureaucracy. Matosantos’ reappointment had been expected for weeks.

Dooley has played a significant role in the Brown transition dealing with health care issues.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the Health and Human Services Agency,” she said in a written statement distributed by Brown’s office. “In these difficult times, it’s more important than ever to manage our health and social programs with efficiency and a sense of compassion.  And that’s my commitment in taking this position.”

Prior to leading the Children’s Hospital Association, Dooley was general counsel for the Children’s Hospital Central California near Fresno. 

 She began her career as an analyst at the State Personnel Board and later served as Legislative Secretary and Special Assistant to the governor under Brown from 1975 to 1983.  Prior to becoming an attorney in 1995, she owned a public relations and advertising agency.

Dooley is a native of Hanford, California.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Fresno State University in 1972 and her law degree from San Joaquin College of Law in 1995.

Matosantos, a Democrat, joined the Department of Finance as Chief Deputy Director for Budgets in April 2008 and was appointed Director of Finance on Dec. 31, 2009, by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

From 2004 to 2007, she was a member of the Health and Human Services Agency staff. In 2007, she served as deputy legislative secretary for Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs in the Office of the Governor.

Earlier, Matosantos worked for the state Senate as a consultant to the Senate Committees on Health and Human Services and Budget and Fiscal Review. Matosantos is a native of Puerto Rico.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Stanford University in 1997

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