Planning & Policy
Legal and Legislative Team
CEQA & State Clearinghouse
California On-line Learning Lab
Chief Deputy Director,
State Clearinghouse Director
Scott Morgan is OPR’s Chief Deputy Director, overseeing the daily operations of the office and leading the Administrative, State Clearinghouse and Military Affairs Teams. Scott coordinates efforts across all of OPR’s Budget Programs.
Suzanne Hague, AICP Deputy Director: Planning & Policy
As OPR’s Deputy Director for Planning and Community Development, Suzanne leads, coordinates, and supports policy development related to land use and sustainable, equitable growth; housing, transportation, and infrastructure; infill development and finance; local and regional planning; community-based investment; and social and racial equity.
Suzanne has over two decades of experience working at the neighborhood, local, state, and national levels. With professional background in the fields of social work and architecture, Suzanne cut her teeth as a planner in post-Hurricane-Katrina New Orleans, later led a national advocacy coalition for federal funds to support neighborhood revitalization, and served in the Obama White House’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative – a national pilot program supporting economic revitalization in cities. Suzanne holds a Master of Urban Planning from Harvard University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the California Planning Roundtable.
Jeannie Lee Chief Counsel
Jeannie Lee is Chief Counsel at OPR where she works on a broad range of legal and policy issues related to CEQA, land use, climate, and transportation. She also provides technical assistance to the public on these topics. Before coming to OPR, Jeannie was a Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice and an associate in private practice. Before attending law school, Jeannie was an environmental planner focused on CEQA and NEPA review.
Nuin-Tara Key Deputy Director: Climate
Nuin-Tara Key is Deputy Director for Climate Resilience at OPR and Chair of the Technical Advisory Council for the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program. Prior to joining OPR, Nuin-Tara co-founded an international initiative on community-based climate action and has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors on sustainable urban and regional planning and policy, with a focus on social equity and climate change. She has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and a BA from Lewis and Clark College.
Chris Ganson Senior Advisor for Transportation
Chris Ganson is the Senior Advisor for Transportation at OPR. He manages implementation of SB 743 and OPR’s work on Automated Vehicle deployment. Chris previously held positions at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the World Resources Institute, and US EPA Region 9.
Helen Campbell, AICP SB 2 Planner
As a Senior Analyst, Helen provides guidance and technical assistance to local governments and non-governmental stakeholders on a range of planning and land use topics including the development of planning strategies that further the State’s equity and climate priorities. She collaborates with state and local government and non-governmental entities to coordinate resources and opportunities across programs and policy initiatives. Helen brings 14 years of experience as a planner to OPR, including 10 years as a local government planner for the City of Los Angeles across various departments and four years as a housing policy planner in the non-profit sector. She holds an M.A. degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA.
Erik de Kok, AICP Senior Planner
As Senior Planning Advisor, Erik maintains and updates statewide planning guidance documents and related technical advisories across a broad range of topics, including general plans, climate action and adaptation plans, and CEQA. He also provides technical planning assistance to planning agencies and works closely with fellow OPR staff, SGC, and other state agencies to align various programs and policies in furtherance of the State’s planning priorities.
Prior to joining OPR in September 2019, Erik was as a senior project manager for seven years with Ascent Environmental Inc., and he served as a public-sector planner for nine years at the City of Sacramento.
Debbie Franco Senior Advisor: Community & Rural Affairs
Debbie Franco is Senior Advisor for water and rural affairs at OPR where she primarily engages in cross-agency collaboration. Debbie is a member of the AB 1755, Open and Transparent Data Act, Partner Agency Team and sits on the Forest Management Task Force, co-leading the Wood Utilization Work Group. Prior to joining OPR Debbie was the Policy Director at the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water. She holds a B.A. from UC Davis and a master’s degree in social Ecology from UC Irvine.
Evan Johnson Climate Policy Advisor
Evan Johnson is Climate Policy Advisor at OPR where he provides leadership on climate mitigation and adaptation issues, with a specific focus on reducing wildfires and their impacts to communities, natural systems, and the climate. He is also and Executive Officer for the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery. Prior to OPR, Evan was Science and Policy Advisor at CalRecycle, leading the development of data-driven strategies to reduce methane and other climate pollutants through improved management of our waste resources. Previously, Evan was a principal consultant on domestic and international climate policy and science. He holds a Master of Environmental Science and Management degree from the Donald Bren School at UC Santa Barbara where he was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow.
Jenn Phillips Senior Scientist
Jenn is the Senior Scientist at OPR, working at the intersection of climate adaptation, mitigation, and research. In this role, she works closely with the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, and extensively with regional and international climate coalitions. Prior to OPR, she was the climate policy advisor at the California Ocean Protection Council.
Nikki Caravelli Assistant Planner
As an Assistant Planner at OPR specializing in climate resilience Nikki serves as staff lead on the Adaptation Clearinghouse and supports the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP). Her prior experience as a resilience specialist includes serving as a 2016–17 CivicSpark Climate Fellow, and two years with Sierra Business Council as a Government Affairs analyst and Project Manager for Sierra CAMP, the Sierra Nevada regional climate collaborative. Nikki has a B.A. in Anthropology and a Concentration in Environmental Studies from Williams College, where she graduated in 2016 as a Class of 1960 Environmental Scholar.
Sarah L. White Senior Advisor: Workforce Development
Sarah L. White is Senior Advisor for Jobs and the Economy at OPR, where she leads state efforts to map an equitable high road transition to carbon neutrality. She works at the intersection of labor, workforce, and climate policy across OPR concerns.
White served in the Brown Administration as the inaugural Director for Equity, Climate and Jobs at the California Workforce Development Board, where she designed the High Road Training Partnership Initiative and the equity + job quality agenda that now anchor the state’s jobs and climate vision. Before heading west, White spent a decade at COWS — a national policy center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — working on economic inequality, decarbonization, and social change. A national expert on jobs and training in the low-carbon economy, she holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wellesley College.
Amy Miller Federal Grant Administrator
Amy Miller is the Federal Grant Administrator at OPR, where she serves as a primary point of contact for information on federal grants and serves as a coordinator to manage and maximize federal grant opportunities within the state.
Christine Asiata Rodriguez State Clearinghouse Manager
Christine Asiata Rodriguez, is the Manager and Assistant Planner of the State Clearinghouse (SCH) at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). With a tenure of over 15 years, her focus is on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process and guidance. Christine is the Project Leader and Manager who facilitates training on the new CEQA database pursuant to the SB 122 which requires environmental documents and notices prepared pursuant to the CEQA, to be available online. The CEQA Guidelines governs the operation of the SCH, and defines its roles and responsibilities. Consecutively, the SCH serves government agencies and the public by coordinating state-level review of environmental document distribution, providing assistance with the environmental review process, and managing the environmental information collected.
Natalie Kuffel Land Use Councel
Natalie Kuffel is Land Use Counsel at OPR, where she assists the legal, legislative, and planning teams with work related to CEQA, housing, and transportation policy. Prior to serving in this role, Natalie was OPR’s Legislative Director. She has previously worked as a land use attorney for two law firms in the Sacramento area and clerked for the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California. Before attending law school, she worked for a local homeless services nonprofit.
Peter van Deventer Coast to Coast Smart e-Mobility Program Director
Peter van Deventer, is the Director of the Coast to Coast Smart e-Mobility program at OPR, where he connects governments, industry and academia on smart and clean transportation solutions. Before joining OPR in 2013, Peter worked in the Netherlands and Africa where he was responsible for transportation and land use departments both within local and regional governments as well as within consultancy. Peter holds Engineering degrees from Ohio State University (PhD) and Wageningen University (MSc and BSc) and a Master of Public Administration from the Dutch School for Public Policy.
Sloane Viola Legislative Director & Analyst
Sloane Viola is the Legislative Director at OPR, representing the office’s interests in the legislative process.
Prior to working at OPR, she was the Staff Scientist and a Sea Grant Fellow for Lieutenant Governor Newsom. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Allison Hsieh Miitary Affairs Policy Advisor
Allison serves as the Policy Advisor to the Governor’s Military Council (GMC), which works to sustain and enhance the national security posture in the state. Working with active duty and reserve forces throughout the state as well as community stakeholder groups, veterans, aerospace and defense industry members, military spouse and children advocates, as well as the state government’s executive, legislative, and local level leaders. The GMC bridges the gaps between citizens, public servants, industry, and military on myriad topics that touch on military operations and national security, such as: environment, energy, transportation and infrastructure, housing, technology, education and workforce development and economic opportunity in the state.
Douglas Burt Strategy and Policy Analyst
Douglas Burt is a Policy and Strategy Analyst with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research’s (OPR) Military Affairs Team and focuses on cybersecurity and defense industry economic development. Prior to OPR, Doug worked on sustainable economic development policy at the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), where he started as a Capital Executive Fellow.
Eileen Sánchez CASCADE Program Manager
Ms. Eileen Sánchez serves the California Governor in the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) military affairs team where she leads Defense Industry Cybersecurity Resilience. Prior to OPR, Ms. Sánchez served as director of economic development for Los Angeles Mayor, overseeing the small and minority business team, contracting relations and a broad range of entrepreneurship initiatives. Ms. Sánchez previously served as a U.S. Small Business Administration associate administrator in Washington, D.C., reporting to the Administrator and serving on the SBA Management Board. In her role, Ms. Sánchez spearheaded SBA's small business global and international trade initiatives and programs, including the $1.45 billion SBA guaranteed export lending portfolio and field staff located at U.S. Export Assistance Centers. She led several government initiatives to improve the economic environment for American small businesses and entrepreneurs in the United States and abroad, and she was responsible for ensuring small business interests were represented in trade negotiations and commercial dialogues. Ms. Sánchez also oversaw the launch and implementation of the State Trade Expansion Program.
Kyle Smith Military Affairs Analyst
Kyle Smith is an Associate Planner on OPR’s Military Affairs Team where he manages multiple federal grant programs and works to support compatible planning with military activities throughout the state.
Kyle previously worked on military affairs and energy policy at OPR in Governor Brown’s administration. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from UC Davis and a M.S. in Community and Regional Planning from UT Austin.
Julianne McCall Science Officer
Julianne McCall is a Science Officer at OPR, co-leading the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. She has also worked as a Consultant with the Senate Office of Research, a Neuroscientist at Heidelberg University Laboratory for Neuroregeneration, Founder of TEDxFulbright, and Director of the International Brain Bee Neuroscience Olympiad.
Megan Varvais Science Communication Specialist
Megan Varvais is a Science Communications Specialist and Administrator in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. She helps run the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine and maintains the Precision Medicine Asset Inventory. She has also worked for the Consumer Federation of California, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation, and the California Faculty Association. Her professional and volunteer experiences include graphic design, event planning, grassroots organizing and outreach, database management, legislative advocacy, and coalition building.
Shannon Muir Science Officer
Shannon Muir is a Science Officer at OPR, co-leading the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. She was previously a Director of the Research Proposal Development Service at UC San Diego, a Senior Associate for the California Council on Science and Technology, and a Science and Technology Policy Fellow for the Senate Health Committee.
Lark Park California On-line Learning Lab Director
Lark Park is Director of the California Education Learning Lab, a grantmaking program at OPR focused on supporting improved human learning and reducing equity gaps in California’s public institutions of higher education.
Denise Gutierrez Personnel Technician
Denise Gutierrez is the Personnel Technician for OPR, where she provides assistance to the Personnel Officer on matters related to attendance, payroll, recruitment and retention, and employment verifications. She also works the front desk and provides administrative support, including but not limited to: travel, meeting planning, and scheduling.
Joanna Sledge Personnel Officer
Joanna Sledge is the Personnel Officer for OPR, where she provides guidance and advice on all personnel related matters, including but not limited to salaries and benefits, job classifications, training, recruitment and retention, etc.
Lynn Walters Information Technology
Lynn Walters is an IT professional that is part of your Governor’s office technology unit. This September I have been with OPR for forty years. I am a retired annuitant working part time to support technology needs. I support the OPR Blue Anchor building fielding all hardware and software helpdesk questions.
Michael Wilson Senior Graphic & UI Designer
Michael Wilson is the Senior Graphic and User Interface Designer for OPR, where he manages their website as well as designs visual communication pieces such as fact sheets and information graphics.
He also serves as the webmaster and designer for the Strategic Growth Council, where he has worked on projects such as the 2018 website redesign as well as the design for the Fourth California Climate Assessment website. Prior to his appointment with OPR, he was the graphic designer and art director for the California Energy Commission.
Shelby McMichael Special Assistant to the Director
Shelby McMichael is the Special Assistant to OPR Director Kate Gordon, where she serves as Director Gordon’s principal administrative point of contact and manages her speaking engagement preparations.
Prior to her current role, Shelby served as an Executive Fellow through the California Capital Fellows Program, where she assisted with the development of healthy transportation policy for the Health in All Policies Task Force, an initiative of the California Strategic Growth Council. Shelby earned a Bachelor Degree in Communication and Sociology from the University of California, Davis.
Canie Ho Accounting Analyst
Supports the accounting activities across all of the OPR budget programs.
Jason Hernandez Mail Room Supervisor
Manages mailroom Services and Travel Services and supports the office’s procurement team.
Javier Camacho Budget Officer
OPR’s Budget Officer overseeing and coordinating across OPR’s budget programs and the office’s liaison to the Department of Finance.
Jody Simons Facilities Manager
Oversees office operations and building management.
Kevin Peth Senior Contracts Administrator
OPR’s Senior Administrator overseeing contracting and procurement across all of OPR’s budget programs.
Marianna Marushka Accounting Technician
Supports the accounting activities across all of the OPR budget programs.
Shelly Liu Accounting Analyst
Supports the accounting activities across all of the OPR budget programs.
Theresa Cesena Chief Accounting Administrator
OPR’s Chief Accountant managing the accounting team and responsible for accounting activities across all the OPR budget programs.