78. Maricela Rodriguez
Maricela Rodriguez serves in the governor’s office as the director of Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, where she helps develop communications strategy. She has also taken a lead role in the state’s decennial census Count – the ultimate outcome of which will determine how much federal funding the state receives, and could change the number of California delegates the Golden State sends to congress. By all accounts, Rodriguez is the right woman for the job. Prior to joining the Newsom Administration in 2018 she was a heavy hitter at the California Endowment; there she ran the $350 million #Health4All campaign to promote enrollment in the new ACA exchanges. Rodriguez recognized that the success or failure of the state’s enrollment program would hinge on Latino participation, and made outreach to the Latino community a top priority. Last year she was named one of “40 Under 40” by the Sacramento Business Journal. Rodriguez started her career in a very-different governor’s office, as scheduler for then-First Lady Maria Shriver – not bad for a kid from Tulare County whose first job was at KFC.