40. Jared Blumenfeld
Jared Blumenfeld isn’t a household name in California, but he probably should be. He heads CalEPA, the state’s Environmental Protection Agency, and he’s viewed as an aggressive, systematic regulator at the largest state environmental operation in the nation. His official title is “Secretary for Environmental Protection,” which means he’s holding a cabinet-level post. Blumenfeld served eight years in the Obama administration as Pacific Southwest regional chief for the U.S. EPA, which included California, Nevada, Arizona, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations. Before that, he headed San Francisco’s Environment Department, first under Mayor Willie Brown and later under then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. In San Francisco, he pushed a local rule requiring mandatory recycling and composting, bans on plastic bags and Styrofoam, and a 20% cut in greenhouse gases. Somehow, he also found the time to be general manager of S.F.’s Park and Recreation Department, and he served on the governing board of the Treasure Island Redevelopment Authority – an important job in The City.
Updated Aug. 25, 2021.