33. Carrie Cornwell
arrie Cornwell is major player on the Assembly side, and rightly so: She is chief of staff to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and has served in that position for four years, after serving Rendon as chief of staff when the latter was a rank-and-file lawmaker before he attained the speakership. The speaker’s job isn’t what it used to be, when near-autocrats like Jesse Unruh and Willie Brown held sway, but as term limits have eased, the speakership is regaining some of its institutional heft – and Cornwell is at the center of it. As chief of staff, she has a major say on who is hired and fired, and on meeting the speaker’s legislative agenda. She served for nine years as chief consultant to the state Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee and, then on the Assembly’s version of that same committee. She was chief of staff to former state Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson when he was in the Assembly and, later, as a state senator. She came to the Capitol as an Assembly fellow and has degrees from Princeton and UCLA.
Updated Aug. 11, 2020