Chief of Housing, Homelessness and Civil Rights Branch
California Department of Social Services
Marianne “Mari” Cantwell
Chief Deputy Director of Health Care Programs
California Department of Health Care Services
Grants Management, Victim Services Program
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Community Member and Congressional Aide
Office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Deputy Director of Community and Economic Development, City of Riverside
Alexis Podesta was appointed Secretary at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in February 2017, where she has served as undersecretary since 2015. Secretary Podesta oversees departments charged with funding affordable housing, civil rights enforcement, banking and financial transactions, consumer protection, and the licensing of three-million working professionals.
Prior to coming to the Agency, Secretary Podesta served as the Director of External and International Affairs for the office of Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown. As Director of External & International Affairs she led outreach, communication and partnerships with stakeholder groups, as well as provided key support for the Governor’s special projects. Additionally, Secretary Podesta was the lead on international affairs and served as the Chief of Protocol.
Prior to joining the Brown Administration she worked for Pacific Gas & Electric in Sacramento as the Special Assistant to Senior Vice President Nancy McFadden. Before joining PG&E, Secretary Podesta spent nearly a decade in Washington, DC, working first as the Director of Scheduling for US Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, and then as the Manager of Government Relations for The Walt Disney Company.
Secretary Podesta has a Bachelor’s Degree from George Washington University.
Ben Metcalf has been director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development since 2016. He was deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2013 to 2016, where he served as a senior advisor to the commissioner and assistant secretary of housing from 2011 to 2013 and as senior advisor to the deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing programs from 2010 to 2012. He was project manager at the BRIDGE Housing Corporation from 2004 to 2010. Metcalf earned a Master of Public Policy degree in public policy and urban planning from the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.
Laurie Berman is the director of the California Department of Transportation, where she has been District 11 director since 2009 and has served in several positions since 1983, including chief deputy district director of project delivery, State Route 125 south toll road corridor project manager, design manager and senior transportation engineer. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Women’s Transportation Seminar.
Alicia “Ali” Sutton has been chief of the Housing, Homelessness and Civil Rights Branch at the California Department of Social Services since 2017. She was a senior advisor to the acting assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families from 2016 to 2017, where she was a policy advisor from 2012 to 2014. Sutton was a graduate student intern at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2015, a national programs and policy associate at Feeding America from 2010 to 2012, executive assistant to Madeleine Albright at the Albright Stonebridge Group from 2009 to 2010 and a field staff/director at Obama for America from 2007 to 2008. Sutton earned a Master of Public Policy degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Donald Cavier has been chief deputy director of the California Housing Finance Agency since 2015. He held several positions at the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency from 1998 to 2015, including director of finance, finance manager and financial analyst and supervising auditor. He was a senior internal auditor at the Money Store from 1997 to 1998, where he was an underwriter from 1995 to 1997. Cavier was an inventory control auditor at the Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation from 1994 to 1995 and an underwriter at American Portfolios Services Inc. from 1993 to 1994.
Marianne “Mari” Cantwell
Marianne “Mari” Cantwell has been chief deputy director of health care programs at the California Department of Health Care Services since 2013, where she was deputy director of health care financing from 2011 to 2013. She was vice president of finance policy at the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems from 2005 to 2011. She was a statistician and data analyst at Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates from 2003 to 2005, a research associate and project manager at the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research from 2001 to 2003 and a research analyst at the Milken Institute from 2000 to 2001. Cantwell earned a Master of Public Policy degree in health policy from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Affairs.
Russell Atterberry has been undersecretary at the California Department of Veterans Affairs since 2015. He was executive officer at the Navy Operational Support Center, Sacramento from 2014 to 2015. Atterberry was department head student at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command from 2012 to 2013 and head of the Operations and Training Department for the U.S. Navy Cruiser Class Squadron from 2008 to 2010. He served in several positions in the U.S. Navy from 1995 to 2008, including command control center officer, ordinance officer, force protection officer and engineer.
Stephanie Welch has been executive officer at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Council on Mentally Ill Offenders since 2015. She was senior program manager at the California Mental Health Services Authority from 2011 to 2015, associate policy director at the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California from 2007 to 2011, a consultant at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health from 2005 to 2007 and associate director and research assistant at the California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies from 2000 to 2005. Welch is a member of the University of California, Davis Alumni Association. She earned a Master of Social Work degree in community organization, policy and administration from the University of Southern California.
Gina Buccieri-Harrington has been assistant director of grants management in the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services since 2009, where she has served in several positions since 2007, including staff services manager. She earned a Master of Public Administration degree in organizational development from Golden Gate University.
Gary McCoy currently works in the District Office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a Congressional Aide. He has previously worked as a Policy & Community Affairs Manager at the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, served as Chief of Staff in the Office of San Francisco Supervisor Julie Christensen, a Legislative Aide in the Office of San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, and an Aide in the Office of San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed. He is a member of the San Francisco Shelter Monitoring Committee, board members of the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, a member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission-Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee, and a former board member of the Castro Country Club Advisory Board. Gary McCoy is the Council’s subject matter expert with lived experience. Gary was formerly homeless, having lived on the streets in San Francisco through the majority of his twenties. Since getting back on his feet, Gary has been heavily active in the substance use disorder recovery community, and is a strong advocate of harm reduction programs.
Alexis Barries is a child welfare and youth homelessness subject matter expert. Over the past five years she has served as Lead Advocate for John Burton Advocates for Youth Foundation and has been a Project Coordinator, Senior Ambassador, Community Advocate, and Employment Specialist working with organizations such as Aspiranet, the Child and Family Policy Institute of California, and CASA of San Mateo. While studying Political Science at Napa College, she wrote multiple papers and presented on how public welfare systems impact the families and youth in foster care. Alexis also brings her expertise as a direct service provider and is the Council’s young adult subject matter expert with lived experience.
Jody Ketcheside has been deputy regional director at Turning Point of Central California Inc. since 2012. Ketcheside was Transitional Living Center manager at the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission from 2009 to 2012, where she was shelter manager from 2007 to 2009. She was residential administrator at Genesis Family Center, Fresno from 1999 to 2007. Ketcheside is chair of the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care Executive Committee and vice chair of operations at the California Coalition for Youth.
Gail Gilman has been chief executive officer at the Community Housing Partnership since 2010, where she was director of tenant services from 2002 to 2010. She was program manager and housing coordinator for the Bridge Project at Lutheran Social Services of Northern California from 1995 to 2001. Gilman is a member of the San Francisco Building Inspection Commission and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. She earned a Master of Public Policy degree in non-profit administration from the University of San Francisco.
Emilio Ramirez is the Director of the Office of Homeless Solutions for the City of Riverside. Mr. Ramirez started with the City in June 2011. Prior to working for the City, he spent twelve years at the County of Riverside working his way from Development Specialist II to Assistant Director, a position he held for the last four years. Mr. Ramirez graduated from the University of California, Riverside, with a B.A. in Sociology and Economics. He received his Masters of Science in Economics from California State University, Pomona. He holds a Doctor of Jurist Prudence from Whittier Law School and is an active member of the State Bar of California.
Joseph Uchishiba has been a police officer for the City of Fairfield Police Department’s Homeless Intervention Team since 2014, where he has held several positions since 1995, including crisis intervention team leader, youth diversion officer, youth services officer and crime suppression officer. He was a deputy sheriff at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office from 1994 to 1995 and a reserve police officer at the City of Vallejo Police Department from 1991 to 1994.
Jennifer Loving has spent her career spearheading efforts to better serve the needs of homeless individuals and families in Silicon Valley. Working in a variety of shelter, street and housing programs, Jennifer has developed and collaborated on numerous innovative models including the County’s first Housing First program for homeless families and the Housing 1000 Campaign, which brought more than 1,000 chronically homeless men and women home. A leader in systems change, she’s overseen the development and implementation of the 2015 Community Plan to End Homelessness and the production of Home Not Found, the most comprehensive cost of homelessness study completed in the United States. in 2016 she facilitated the release of The Silicon Valley Triage Tool, an open source predictive forecasting tool for Supportive Housing. Jennifer is a senior fellow with American Leadership Forum and is on the board of Silicon Valley at Home (SV@Home). In 2016, Jennifer was appointed to the Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara and appointed by the California State Senate to serve as a member of the State of California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council..
Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program.
Amy directs the work of PATH Ventures, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating affordable and stable homes for people struggling with the high-cost of housing in California, particularly families and individuals experiencing homelessness. With over twenty-five years of experience in the fields of urban planning and real estate, Amy is a well-respected leader in the development of high-quality, affordable housing communities. Amy has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from UCLA and within her own community of Santa Monica serves as a Planning Commissioner.