2. Ana Matosantos
Gov. Gavin Newsom has called Ana Matosantos “a genius.” Heady stuff, although the only real genius we ever knew was James Julian, the late journalism law professor at San Diego State (Go Aztecs!). Anyway, Matosantos knows the high end of the Capitol inside and out. She has served as Finance Director in both the Brown and Schwarzenegger administrations, and the budget-writing Finance Department is the single most important agency in state government. Matosantos is now Newsom’s cabinet secretary, who oversees executive-branch state agencies’ chiefs and acts as a key adviser to the governor on administering the state’s vast bureaucracy. (The job has been likened to herding cats.) Matosantos is a native of Puerto Rico and was an Obama appointee to the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Board. She was involved in enacting the state’s school financing and accountability system, financing and implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California, and the implementation of corrections realignment. She and O’Leary are sort of a tag team: Ana makes the trains run on time and Ann focuses on politics and policy.