Newsom makes five appointments to High-Speed Rail Authority




Today Gov. Gavin Newsom announced five high-level appointments to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. 

The descriptions below were provided by the governor's press office. 

Alicia Fowler, 54, of Sacramento, has been appointed chief counsel of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Fowler has served as deputy secretary and general counsel at the California State Transportation Agency since 2015. She was senior assistant attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 2008 to 2015, where she was a supervising deputy attorney general from 2001 to 2008 and a deputy attorney general from 1994 to 1996. Fowler was staff counsel III at the California Trade and Commerce Agency from 1998 to 2001 and an associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe from 1990 to 1994. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $191,604. Fowler is a Democrat. 

Melissa Figueroa, 39, of West Sacramento, has been appointed chief of strategic communications at the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Figueroa has been deputy secretary of communications and strategic planning at the California State Transportation Agency since 2015. She was deputy secretary of communications and external affairs at the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency from 2013 to 2015, deputy secretary of communications at the State and Consumer Services Agency from 2011 to 2013 and press secretary for California State Senator Joe Simitian from 2009 to 2011. She was consumer and special projects producer for KCRA-TV from 2006 to 2009 and newscast producer for KSBY 6 from 2002 to 2006. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $146,388. Figueroa is a Democrat.

Margaret Cederoth, 46, of Sacramento, has been appointed director of planning and sustainability at the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Cederoth has been a sustainability director and practice leader at WSP since 2011, where she has been a sustainability manager and transportation planner since 2002. She was a transit planner at URS Corporation from 2001 to 2002 and an associate at PADCO Inc. from 2000 to 2001. Cederoth earned a Master of Urban and Planning degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $165,000. Cederoth is a Democrat.

Christine Inouye, 53, of Sacramento, has been appointed director of engineering at the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Inouye has served as undersecretary at the California State Transportation Agency since 2017. She has served as capital contracts procurement manager at the California High-Speed Rail Authority since 2016. She was a project manager at the California State Transportation Agency from 2014 to 2016. Inouye served in several positions at the California Department of Transportation from 1989 to 2014, including high-speed rail coordinator, management liaison to the chief engineer, project manager and supervising transportation engineer. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $178,884. Inouye is a Republican.


Barbara Rooney, 49, of Elk Grove, has been appointed director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. Rooney has served as deputy director of legislation at the California High-Speed Rail Authority since 2015. She was deputy director of legislation at the Department of Motor Vehicles from 2010 to 2015, where she was departmental training branch chief from 2008 to 2010. Rooney was chief of the California Department of Social Services’ Technical Assistance and Policy Branch from 2004 to 2008, principal legislative analyst at the Department of Motor Vehicles from 1997 to 2004 and training officer at the Department of Motor Vehicles from 1994 to 1997. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $150,000.  Rooney is a Democrat. 


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