San Diego Mayor-Elect Todd Gloria has announced eight additional members of his administrative team, a diverse group with extensive experience in local government.
Gloria, who will be sworn in as the 37th Mayor of San Diego on Dec. 10, described the members of his team as “a true reflection of the people we serve.”
“At a time when people are especially looking to their government for leadership, I’m proud to appoint these talented, hard-working and dedicated professionals to help me tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our City,” said Gloria. “I am particularly proud that our administration is on track to be one of the most diverse in city history.”
The eight new members of the team are:
Director of Policy — Jessica Lawrence, who has more than 10 years experience in city government and is currently director of policy and council affairs for Mayor Kevin Faulconer. She graduated magna cum laude from New York University with a degree in public policy and planning.
Communications Director — Jen Lebron, who has held multiple roles at City Hall, including press secretary, director of digital strategy, LGBTQ+ liaison and the director of public safety and neighborhood services policy. Prior to joining the city, Lebron was a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in journalism.
Director of Community Engagement — Michaela Valk, who served as a field representative in Gloria’s Assembly office. Valk previously worked for the San Diego County District Attorney as well as the county’s Department of Child Support Services. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego.
Director of Appointments and Boards and Commissions — Matthew Gordon, who served as a district representative in Gloria’s Assembly office and an advisor to former City Council President Myrtle Cole. Gordon received a “Call to Service Award” from President Barack Obama.
Director of Government Affairs — Adrian Granda, who most recently served as the city’s director of government affairs. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from the California State University, Long Beach.
Deputy Director of Policy — Matt Yagyagan, council director of government affairs for San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez. Yagyagan is the Southern California outreach chair for the California Democratic Party’s Asian Pacific Islander caucus and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
Deputy Director of Communications — Chida Warren-Darby, who is a media and marketing consultant. She is the publisher of Black & Magazine, a digital Black lifestyle publication catering to the 22- to 44-year-old African American demographic. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of San Diego.
Federal Government Affairs Manager — Walt Bishop, who is currently the strategic advisor for federal affairs to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Originally from New York, Bishop is a graduate of Hofstra University.
On Nov. 13, Gloria announced Paola Avila as his chief of staff, Nick Serrano as deputy chief of staff, and Jay Goldstone and interim chief operating officer.