2. Ana Matosantos
As Newsom’s cabinet secretary, Ana Matosantos essentially runs California’s bureaucracy. Matosantos was finance director for former Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, and was instrumental in helping Brown resolve a $27 billion budget hole. Now, she’s looking at a bigger hole – twice the magnitude of the earlier shortage – and the state’s experts say this could drag on for years. A Finance Director decides on the annual budget request of government departments and the cabinet secretary manages those same departments and agencies from an Olympian level – we think she’s got the bases covered. In between stints in government, she was a budget and policy consultant, and she earlier served as deputy legislative secretary for Health and Human Services and Veteran Affairs. Meanwhile, Matosantos, who has a political science degree from Stanford, was appointed in 2016 by former President Obama to a seven-member board charged with coming up with ideas to help Puerto Rico achieve economic stability. They might have, too, but the following year, Hurricane Maria smacked Puerto Rico but good, so any earlier financial progress was gone with the wind.
(Updated August 11, 2020)