21. Tracy Arnold
Tracy Arnold is Gov. Gavin Newsom’s chief deputy cabinet secretary, which means she’s the top lieutenant to Ana Matasantos (No. 2). While most of the governor’s staff have moved out of the building during the pandemic, Arnold is still in the Horseshoe, and that proximity to power is more than a metaphor: Arnold is at the heart of the state’s command center. She is a skilled strategist with a deep understanding of topics ranging from international relations and economic policy to issues of social justice. Previously, she was a partner at Mercury Public Affairs where she oversaw The California Endowment’s Affordable Care Act advocacy campaign, including the Medi-Cal outreach and enrollment effort that resulted in over 4 million newly enrolled Californians. Prior to that, she served in the Schwarzenegger administration as the deputy executive director at the Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth. There, she drove the business and policy agendas for Schwarzenegger’s international missions, and she is credited as being the guiding force behind his groundbreaking trip to China where her fluency in Mandarin probably came in handy.