Delta Stewardship Council Members
Created by the California Legislature in 2009, the Delta Stewardship Council is composed of members who represent different parts of the state and offer diverse expertise in fields such as agriculture, science, environmental issues, and public service. Of the seven, four are appointed by the Governor, one each by the Senate and Assembly, and the seventh is the Chair of the Delta Protection Commission.
The Council's work is supported by the Delta Independent Science Board, an independent board of nationally and internationally prominent scientists.
Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council, Susan Tatayon is from Rocklin, CA. In a career spanning more than 35 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 (DWR).
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 off stream 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.
A pragmatist who enjoys working with people in a down-to-earth way to find practical solutions to problems, throughout her career Ms. Tatayon has done her best to listen carefully to others' interests and perspectives and discover solutions that are workable for most concerned.
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.
Frank C. Damrell, Jr.
Frank C. Damrell, Jr., of Sacramento, is a principal at Cotchett, Pitre, and McCarthy and was a distinguished Federal Judge of the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. Prior to his appointment as a Federal Judge in 1997 by President Clinton, Mr. Damrell was a Deputy Attorney General for California and a Deputy District Attorney in Stanislaus County. He started his own law firm in 1968 in Modesto and headed that firm until his appointment to the United States District Court.
Judge Damrell holds a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from Santa Clara University.
During his career he has served as president of the Consumers Federation of California and was appointed to the California State Consumer Advisory Council. He has also served on numerous collegiate boards throughout Northern and Central California, on the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and on the Federal/State Steering Committee on Civic Education.
Judge Damrell was appointed to the Council by Gov. Jerry Brown in in 2014, and reappointed in 2018. His current term expires on Feb. 2, 2022.
Christy Smith, of Santa Clarita Valley, began her career at the U.S. Department of Education. Smith is a former member of the California State Legislature, having represented California’s 38th State Assembly district. During her tenure, she authored bills on wildfire protections, environmental safeguards, and more. She has worked diligently with community partners – including environmental advocates – to build relationships at the state and local levels.
Assemblymember Smith attended College of the Canyons before earning her Bachelor of Arts in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Smith was appointed to the Council by Assembly Speaker Rendon in 2021. Her current term expires on February 3, 2022.
Maria Mehranian, of La Cañada Flintridge, is managing partner and chief financial officer of the Cordoba Corporation, a nationally recognized infrastructure development firm based in Los Angeles. Ms. Mehranian previously served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board from 2008 to 2016.
She holds a masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and participates in numerous policy panels on water quality and supply issues, and serves as a guest lecturer for universities throughout the state. Ms. Mehranian holds leadership positions for several academic institutions, including the Woodbury University Board of Trustees and the Dean’s Leadership Board at Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering.
She currently is the international chairperson of Armenia Fund, Inc., which has raised more than $120 million for humanitarian and infrastructure development in Armenia. Ms. Mehranian is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for exemplifying outstanding qualities in both her personal and professional life while continuing to preserve the richness of her Armenian heritage.
Ms. Mehranian was appointed to the Council by the California Senate Rules Committee in 2018. Her current term expires on Feb. 2, 2022.
Currently serving his seventh term, Don was first elected to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in November 1994. Don represents the diverse Fifth District, which encompasses 650 square miles and includes the cities of Elk Grove, Galt, Isleton, and Rancho Cordova, as well as rural farming areas and communities in the southern portion of Sacramento County and the Delta. The Fifth District has a current population of more than 300,000 people.
Don serves the people of Sacramento County on a variety of boards and commissions including the Sacramento Employment & Training Agency, Delta Protection Commission, Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, Sacramento Cable Commission, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento Public Library Authority, Solid Waste Authority, Sacramento Transportation Authority, Basinwide Air Pollution Control Council, Sacramento Regional Transit District, and Freeport Regional Water Authority.
As County Supervisor, Don works with people throughout the Fifth District and Sacramento County in addressing a variety of matters and issues related to roads and traffic; drainage and water supply; land use; health programs and social services; law enforcement and public safety; recreational and cultural programs; budgetary matters; and programs serving the needs of children, families, and seniors.
Prior to his election, Don served as chief assistant to former Fifth District County Supervisor Toby Johnson for 16 years. Don and his wife Brenda are lifelong residents of Sacramento County and make their home in the community of Galt. Don is a former member of the Galt City Council and served for more than 17 years as a board member with the Galt High School District Board of Trustees. Both Don and Brenda attended local schools, and Don is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government/Journalism.
Sacramento native Daniel Zingale was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the Council on April 6, 2020. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Zingale served as senior advisor for strategy and communications in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom from 2019 to 2020. He was senior vice president at the California Endowment from 2010 to 2019, senior advisor in the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and chief of staff to First Lady Maria Shriver from 2005 to 2010, and a member of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board from 2003 to 2005. Mr. Zingale served as cabinet secretary in the Office of Governor Gray Davis in 2003 and was executive director for AIDS Action from 1996 to 1997. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University.
Mr. Zingale’s term expires on April 6, 2024.