Gov. Jerry Brown taps legislative affairs secretary as final UC regent

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed legislative affairs secretary Gareth Elliott to the UC Board of Regents on Jan. 2. The Democrat and West Sacramento resident is the final addition to the 26-member governing body, with two other spots filled by Brown in late 2014.

Elliott, 44, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Humboldt State University and worked with several legislators before being appointed legislative affairs secretary in January of 2011. Prior to that, he was former state senator Alex Padilla’s policy director from 2008 to 2011, and served former State Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata in a variety of capacities from 1996 to 2008.

According to Dianne Klein, a spokesperson for the UC Office of the President, Elliott has maintained a “positive relationship” with the UC in the past, and the UC is “hopeful that that will extend to his term on the board of regents.”

Klein also voiced her approval that a regent with Elliott’s background was chosen. “The reality is that the University has extensive engagement with the legislature, and we think that adding someone with this particular experience is valuable,” she told the Daily Bruin.

Elliott is the second of Brown’s appointees to the board of regents with legislative experience and his fourth appointment overall, not including members he reappointed. Most members of the board were appointed by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The position offers no compensation, and requires confirmation by the California state senate. If approved, Elliott will serve on the board of regents until March 1, 2025.

UC officials are hopeful for what the appointment will bring. “Gareth Elliott’s legislative expertise and deep interest in educational issues are a valuable addition to the board,” said UC Regents Chairman Bruce Varner in a press release. “I look forward to working with him at this month’s meeting and on matters that will shape the future of the University of California for years to come.”

UC President Janet Napolitano also expressed her approval of the appointment, citing her desire to maintain the UC’s reputation. “Gareth Elliott will bring to the board his critical experience in state legislative affairs, a welcome addition as the university engages with our elected leaders,” she said. “I relish the opportunity to work together to help ensure that UC remains among the world’s best public university systems.” Elliott will attend his first board meeting as a UC regent on Jan. 21.

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