69. Wade Crowfoot
California’s resources secretary is Wade Crowfoot, who was a senior environmental adviser to Gavin Newsom when the latter was mayor of San Francisco, and who now does much the same thing for Gov. Newsom as the governor’s cabinet-level secretary for natural resources. He oversees 26 different agencies and 19,000 employees, including Water Resources, Fish and Wildlife, CalFire, the California Conservation Corps and the Department of Parks and Recreation, among other offices. His agencies are responsible for an array of forests, deserts and waterways (and the critters in them), including coastline. If COVID-19 is our most immediate concern, Climate Change and the ongoing global mass-extinction of wildlife are right behind. Early in the year Crowfoot’s team was working on an $8 billion bond proposal that would fund wildfire resilience, safe drinking water and environmental protection; that appears to be off the 2020 ballot in the wake of the pandemic, but nothing ever dies in Sacramento, so expect it to return at some point.
Updated Aug. 11, 2020