7. Keely Bosler
Keely Bosler directs the Finance Department, and if you had to pick a year to hold the job, this might be it: Going into the latest fiscal year, the state had a $38 billion surplus, and as Humphrey Bogart said in The Maltese Falcon, “That’s a lot of dough.” It’s better to be flush than strapped, and Bosler helps the governor sort through the priorities. Bosler is a successor to Ana Matosantos (See No. 2), to whom she reports, which means that state spending gets careful vetting from Newsom’s two top fiscal people. Earlier during the Brown administration, Bosler held the position, cabinet secretary, that Matosantos holds now. Bosler replaced Dana Williamson (See. No. 93). The roller-coaster ride we mentioned, referring to Covid, also holds true for money. When Bosler came into Finance, there was a hefty budget surplus. The following year there was a daunting $54 billion shortage, and now we’re back with a big surplus. Nobody knows how long that will last, but it came as a big surprise that a pandemic-era budget would be so fat. Bosler’s fingers remain crossed.
Updated Aug. 25, 2021