If it’s important and has anything to do with Jerry Brown’s administration and major California public policy issues, Diana Dooley was in the middle of it. As chief of staff and executive secretary in the governor’s office, longtime Brown loyalist Dooley played a major role in shaping the administration’s actions on legislation, appointments, staff and pretty much everything else. She’s no stranger to high-level positions: She served as legislative secretary and special assistant to Brown during his first two terms in 1975-83 and moved into the chief of staff slot in March 2018. Dooley served as the cabinet-level secretary of Health and Human Services and chair of the board of Covered California, where she worked to make the Affordable Care Act survive in California. Dooley, a former top executive for children’s hospitals, was Brown’s first appointment after he was elected to a third term in 2010, has been described as a calming influence, which is handy, as she works from the governor’s inner circle to mold California’s future. She retired the same day as Jerry Brown did and went to work for CALPers for a six month contract. Currently she is attempting retirement again and we are lucky to have her speak to us about her experience and her predictions for our state.
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