No. 9: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Illustration by Chris Shary.

9. Jennifer Siebel Newsom

The governor’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, clearly belongs on this list, but where? With Jerry Brown’s wife, it was easy: Anne Gust Brown managed the governor, advised him on politics and policy – she even reviewed legal briefs when he was state attorney general – and organized his life. Siebel Newsom may not wield such large clout, but she definitely is a powerful force. Newsom consults her and pays close attention to her advice on early education, gender equity, toxic masculinity and childhood health care, among other issues, and she reportedly had a decisive role in the appointment of the state’s first surgeon general, Nadine Burke Harris.  She doesn’t like the title “First Lady,” but prefers “First Partner” – and that’s how she appears on the Byzantine official flow chart of the governor’s office. She grew up in Marin County and holds an MBA from Stanford. A filmmaker, she created the documentary Miss Representation, which detailed the media’s flawed depiction of powerful women.

Updated Aug. 25, 2021

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