Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council, Susan Tatayon is from Rocklin, CA. In a career spanning more than thirty-five years in water resources management, she has worked for The Nature Conservancy, a multinational water resources consulting firm, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources. Ms. Tatayon held several positions at The Nature Conservancy (a conservation NGO) over the last 12 years, including water project director and associate director of its California Water Program. Much of her work for TNC was focused on issues related to the Delta, floodplain management and groundwater. At the consulting firm, she managed projects and staff working on integrated water management plans and such projects as the Lower American River Flow Regime, the 2005 California Water Plan Update, and offstream storage investigations. At the Bureau of Reclamation, she served as special assistant to the regional director of the Mid-Pacific Region and worked on implementation of the CALFED Record of Decision, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, water transfers and renewal of long-term water contracts. At DWR, she served as special assistant to the chief deputy director and later managed DWR’s water reuse program. Prior to 1996, she worked in DWR’s planning division on special projects related to water transfers, storage investigations, and Mono Lake. Ms. Tatayon was elected to the Floodplain Management Association board of directors in 2013. From 2011 to 2013, she co-chaired the California Water Plan Update Advisory Committee’s Finance Caucus. In 2009, she served on work groups that helped define the scope of the first Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. In 2007, she served as a member of the stakeholder group advising the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for sustainable management of the Delta. A pragmatist who enjoys working with people in a down-to-earth way to find practical, useful solutions to problems, throughout her career Ms. Tatayon has done her best to listen carefully to better understand others' interests and perspectives and discover solutions that are workable for most concerned. She has also worked closely with scientists, modelers, and water-project operators, which has prepared her well for understanding on-the-ground implications of proposed policies. Ms. Tatayon was appointed to the Council by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, and reappointed in 2018. Her current term expires Feb. 2, 2022. She was elected by the Council to serve as vice chair in 2016 and as chair beginning Jan. 1, 2019.
Charlton “Chuck” Bonham was appointed as Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, effective September 6, 2011. Prior to his appointment as Director of Fish and Wildlife, Mr. Bonham served in a number of roles for Trout Unlimited over ten years, including since 2004 as the organization’s California director. Mr. Bonham was responsible for developing, managing, and implementing TU's programs in California. These programs include the California Water Project, Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, and restoration and watershed projects in both northern and Southern California. In addition, Mr. Bonham was a senior attorney for the organization. Mr. Bonham also served on the Board of Directors of the Delta Conservancy, whose mission is to conserve, sustain and enhance the cultural, agricultural, recreational, wildlife and natural habitat resources of the River Delta region, as well as develop and promote sustainable protection, management and stewardship programs through research and education. Mr. Bonham received his J.D. and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Oregon. Before Trout Unlimited, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa, and an instructor and guide at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, in Bryson City, N.C.
Karen Ross was appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture on January 12, 2011, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Secretary Ross has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and here in California. Prior to joining CDFA, Secretary Ross was chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a position she accepted in 2009. Prior to that appointment, she served as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996-2009, and as Vice-President of the Agricultural Council of California from 1989-1996. Before moving to California, Secretary Ross served as Director of Government Relations for the Nebraska Rural Electric Association and as Field Representative for U.S. Senator Edward Zorinsky.
DWR operates and maintains the California State Water Project, manages floodwaters, monitors dam safety, conducts habitat restoration, and provides technical assistance and funding for projects for local water needs. Nemeth will oversee the Department and its mission to manage and protect California’s water resources, working with other agencies in order to benefit the State’s people and to protect, restore and enhance the natural and human environments. Nemeth worked at the California Natural Resources Agency as Governor Brown’s deputy secretary and senior advisor for water policy since 2014. She was Bay Delta Conservation Plan project manager from 2009 to 2014. Nemeth was environmental and public affairs director for the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District from 2005 to 2009. She was community affairs manager at Jones and Stokes from 2003 to 2005.
Jared Blumenfeld is widely recognized as one of America’s most innovative environmental leaders. In 2016, he founded his own private firm advising clean tech companies in best practices after serving eight successful years as Regional Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the Pacific Southwest, including California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and 148 tribal nations, under President Barack Obama. Previously, he was Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment for nine years, where he and then-Mayor Newsom worked effectively to make San Francisco the most sustainable city in the nation. He also served as General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Director of the Treasure Island Redevelopment Authority, Chairman of United Nations World Environment Day, Director of Habitat Protection at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Executive Director of Earth Summit Watch for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Mr. Blumenfeld graduated from Cambridge College of Arts and Technology and earned a Master of Laws degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London.
Wade Crowfoot was chief executive officer of the Water Foundation from 2016 to 2018. He was deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. from 2013 to 2016. Mr. Crowfoot also served as deputy director for Governor Brown’s Office of Planning and Research from 2011 to 2013. He was West Coast political director at the Environmental Defense Fund from 2009 to 2011 and senior environmental advisor to former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom from 2004 to 2007.
Bill Edgar was appointed as a member of the Central Valley Flood Protection Board on January 27, 2012 by Governor Brown, and subsequently, on March 19, 2012, the Governor appointed him as the Board’s President. Mr. Edgar has been the co-owner of Edgar & Associates LLP, an accounting services firm since 1999. He was contract Executive Director for the Sutter-Butte Flood Control Agency from December, 2007 to January, 2012. He served as Interim City Manager for the City of Sacramento during 2011 while the City was recruiting for a new City Manager. Mr. Edgar was a member of the California Reclamation Board from 2001 to 2005. He was City Manager for the City of Sacramento from 1993 to 1999, and Assistant City Manager from 1977 to 1992. During that time, he also served concurrently as the first Executive Director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency from 1988 until 1992. Mr. Edgar’s career in government service spans almost 50 years having served as Assistant City Manager and City Manager for the City of Pleasanton from 1965 to 1977 and the State of Pennsylvania prior to that. While in Sacramento, he developed a successful record of inter-agency cooperation during his separate assignments as the executive directors for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, the Sacramento Transit Development Agency, the Sacramento City/County Office of Metropolitan Water Planning and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. Bill’s contributions to the community have been honored by the American Society of Public Administration, the League of California Cities, the League of Women Voters and the Modern Transit Society of Sacramento.
Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas serves on the Council in the post reserved for the chair of the Delta Protection Commission. Supervisor Villegas was elected for a second term as the Yolo County Supervisor for District 1 in November 2016, which encompasses a majority of West Sacramento and the community of Clarksburg. In January 2018, Supervisor Villegas assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Supervisors. During his tenure on the Board of Supervisors commencing in February 2014, Supervisor Villegas also served on the California State Association of Counties (CSAC)/League of California Cities Joint Homelessness Task Force, National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors, Yolo Bypass Partnership, and the Yolo County Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Agricultural Labor. Most recently in 2018, Supervisor Villegas was appointed to co-chair CSAC's Housing, Land Use and Transportation Committee.
John Callaway received his PhD in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University in 1994. He is a Professor and Program Director for the Graduate Environmental Management Program at the University of San Francisco. Prior to his position at USF, John was the Associate Director of the Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory (PERL) at San Diego State University. At USF, John teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in introductory environmental science, applied ecology, wetlands, and restoration ecology. His research expertise is in wetland restoration, specifically wetland plant ecology and sediment dynamics. Recent research projects focus on the development of restored wetlands, including evaluations of the importance of plant species diversity and the role of physical heterogeneity in the development of ecosystem functions. His research includes projects in San Francisco Bay and Tijuana Estuary. This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, California Sea Grant, and other agencies.
Barry Thom is the Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region. He has worked extensively on salmon recovery in the Columbia River basin and West Coast, including convening the Columbia Basin Partnership, a collaborative process to establish long-term goals for Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead and managing the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. Mr. Thom is also the U.S. Commissioner to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). In this role, he serves as head of the U.S. delegation and lead U.S. negotiator responsible for the formulation of U.S. positions related to potential resolutions for tuna and tuna-like species in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. From 2009-2010, he served as Acting Regional Administrator for the former Northwest Region of NOAA Fisheries, during which time the West Coast Trawl Catch Share fishery was developed. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Regional Administrator of the Northwest Region. He became Deputy of the newly merged West Coast Region in 2013. Mr. Thom began his career as a research biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and moved to NOAA Fisheries in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 2001. While in Silver Spring he served on the Pacific Salmon team and as the Protected Species program coordinator within the Office of Protected Resources. He returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2006. Mr. Thom earned a Master’s degree in Fisheries Science from the University of Washington in 1997 and a Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University in 1992.
Campbell Ingram is the first director of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. The California legislature created the conservancy in 2010 to manage habitat restoration and economic development in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The area is the West Coast’s largest estuary and serves over 25 million people. As director, Mr. Ingram has the chance to implement various projects around the Delta. Some of those projects include sustainable water delivery, balancing human and animal needs and hundreds of restoration efforts up and down the Central Valley.
E. Joaquin Esquivel was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board by Governor Jerry Brown in March 2017 and designated by Governor Gavin Newsom as Chair in February 2019. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency in the Governor’s Washington, D.C. office, where he facilitated the development of policy priorities between the agency, the Governor’s Office, the California Congressional delegation, and federal stakeholder agencies. For more than eight years prior to that he worked for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California, most recently as her legislative assistant covering the agriculture, Native American, water, oceans, and nutrition portfolios, in addition to being the director of information and technology. He was born and raised in California’s Coachella Valley. He holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in English.
Josephine served in this capacity since 2015; prior to coming to the regional office, she served as Chief of Planning at Los Angeles District. She oversees a division with technical expertise in plan formulation, environmental compliance, economics, watershed planning, and flood risk management. Her Planning and Policy Division’s role includes reviewing subordinate District products, guiding project development, and conducting quality assurance. While Chief of Planning Division at Los Angeles District, Josephine oversaw a group of about 50 people in the formulation and evaluation of alternatives in the major mission areas of flood risk management, navigation, and ecosystem restoration. She worked closely with non-Federal sponsors, to manage flood risk, improve navigation, and restore ecosystems throughout southern California, southern Nevada, southeastern Utah, and Arizona.
Tomás Torres serves as Director of the Water Division at the EPA in San Francisco. The Water Division, in collaboration with states, tribes, and its many stakeholders, is responsible for safeguarding drinking water in the Pacific Southwest and for restoring watersheds, oceans, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health and support economic and recreational activities. Mr. Torres is responsible for overseeing effective implementation of national water laws and for oversight and funding of state and tribal water protection programs in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the outer Pacific Islands. He has over twenty five years of environmental management experience in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the Water Division in October of 2015, Mr. Torres served as Director of EPA’s San Diego Border Office, where he oversaw the development and implementation of environmental protection programs along the U.S.-Mexico border. He has held various leadership positions in EPA’s Land and Superfund programs and has worked in the private sector developing industrial capacity in the areas of air emissions reduction, pollution prevention, and health risk assessment. Mr. Torres is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
Paul Souza is the Regional Director for the Pacific Southwest Region for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Mr. Souza will oversee Service programs in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin of Oregon, implementing federal laws and policies including the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He will lead the region’s 50 national wildlife refuges, three national fish hatcheries and 13 fisheries and ecological services field offices from the region’s headquarters in Sacramento. Prior to serving in the Service’s national headquarters in Washington, DC, Mr. Souza was Field Supervisor for the South Florida Ecological Services Office, where he led actions to recover 67 listed species and protect a host of important habitats for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. He helped lead the effort to restore America’s Everglades with partners, implementing projects to improve the health of the environment for species such as the Florida panther, wood stork and snail kite.
As Regional Director for the Pacific Region, Mark Sogge oversees USGS centers in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. As a USGS ecologist and research scientist from 1996 - 2008, he led studies that focused on threatened and endangered birds, and Southwest riparian habitats. Mr. Sogge has extensive experience in USGS science management and leadership, starting as Station Leader at the Southwest Biological Science Center (2005-2008), as Chief of Staff for the Western Regional Director (2008-2010), as Associate Regional Executive for the former Pacific Southwest Region (2010-2012), and most recently as Associate Regional Director in the Southwest Region (2012-2013).
Larry joined BCDC as Executive Director in August 2012. Prior his appointment, Larry was a Coro Foundation Fellow, worked for members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, was Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary for former Governor Pete Wilson, and was Director of the California Department of Conservation. In the private sector, he managed Pacific Gas and Electric Company's charitable contributions program for over ten years and was Executive Director of the PG&E Corporation Foundation. In the nonprofit sector, Larry was Policy Director for Efficiency First California prior to starting at BCDC. In addition, Larry twice served as a BCDC Commissioner for a total of almost ten years. Larry received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College and his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.