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Newsom Makes 3 Key GovOps Appointments

The appointees are women who have served in government leadership positions and who have deep backgrounds in technology and public administration.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced three key appointments Thursday that help fill the ranks in a top state agency with governance over technology.

Newsom appointed Joy Bonaguro, 39, of Oakland, as the state's second-ever chief data officer, a position in the California Government Operations Agency (GovOps). Bonaguro has been head of systems and data for Corelight Inc. since 2018. She was San Francisco’s chief data officer from 2014 to 2018; before that, she had been IT manager for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 2011 to 2014, and information designer for the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center from 2002 to 2009. Bonaguro has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Bonaguro was part of Team San Francisco, recognized in 2016 by Government Technology magazine* as among the year’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers in IT. As noted in a 2018 Government Technology profile of Bonaguro’s tenure in San Francisco: “Significant work under Bonaguro’s leadership included a partnership with the controller’s office that yielded a data academy that trained more than 1,000 internal staff members; a DataScienceSF intervention program that sees civic data scientists helping departments function more efficiently with information; and shaping the current DataSF team that will continue the work and culture that she helped to establish.”  

This position does not require Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $151,728. Bonaguro is a Democrat.

Newsom named Krista Canellakis, 37, of San Francisco, as deputy secretary of general services for GovOps. Canellakis had been chief innovation officer for San Francisco’s Office of Civic Innovation from early 2018 until November 2019. 

She had held several positions in that department since 2013, including deputy innovation officer, innovation officer and mayor’s innovation fellow. 

In a tweet she posted Thursday afternoon, Canellakis said: “I’m not going to pretend to be low key. I’m giddy to join the amazing @CAGovOps team!!!!”

Canellakis was co-founder and chief technology officer at UrbanKit from 2012 to 2013. She was project assistant intern for housing development at Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. in 2011, and before that, she was development planning researcher for the development planning unit at the University College London in 2010. Canellakis held several positions at 3Degrees from 2004 to 2009, including senior marketing and partnerships manager, marketing manager and office manager. She earned a master’s degree in building and urban design at University College London. 

This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $151,728. Canellakis is a Democrat. 

The governor also reappointed Julie Lee, a veteran of state service and most recently acting secretary for GovOps, to her role as undersecretary, a position she’s held since 2018. 

Lee, 55, an Auburn resident, served in the Office of the Governor under former Gov. Jerry Brown from 2011 to 2018, including as director of operations from 2013 to 2018, reorganizational specialist from 2012 to 2013, and project manager of the governor’s reorganization plan at the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency from 2011 to 2012. 

As acting GovOps secretary, Lee filled the position government veteran Marybel Batjer held until Newsom appointed her last year to the presidency of the California Public Utilities Commission. Lee was public information manager for the California Department of Transportation’s District 2 from 2009 to 2011, and served in several positions at the California Department of Personnel Administration from 2005 to 2009. Before that, she held various positions at the California Department of Corrections from 2003 to 2004 and at the California Highway Patrol from 2004 to 2005. 

This position does not require Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $191,892. Lee is a Democrat. 

Techwire Assistant Managing Editor Theo Douglas contributed to this report.

*Government Technology magazine is a part of e.Republic, Techwire's parent company.

Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies including USA Today in Washington, D.C.