Gov.-elect Jerry Brown made his first major appointment today, naming hospital association executive Diana Dooley to be secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency.
Dooley, currently president and CEO of the California Children’s Hospital Association, has a long history with Brown, having served as his legislative secretary and special assistant when he was governor from 1975 until 1983.
After Brown left office, Dooley ran her own advertising and public relations agency, became an attorney and then was general counsel and vice president for Children’s Hospital Central California, near Fresno.
She is a native of Hanford and earned her bachelor’s degree at Fresno State. She went to law school at San Joaquin College of Law and earned her law degree in 1995.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the Health and Human Services Agency,” Dooley said in a statement released by Brown’s office. “In these difficult times, it’s more important than ever to manage our health and social programs with efficiency and a sense of compassion. And that’s my commitment in taking this position.”
She takes on a tough job, managing the agency that runs health and social services for the state’s poorest residents at a time when resources are pinched, federal stimulus funds are about to disappear and the state is charged with implementing the new federal health reform.
Brown also named Ana Matosantos to continue as director of the Department of Finance.
Both appointments require Senate confirmation.