Updated: 6/26/13

Governor Brown today announced the appointment of former Schwarzenegger Cabinet Secretary Marybel Batjer as secretary for the new Government Operations Agency that takes effect on July 1.  As a result of last year’s Governor’s Reorganization Plan, the agency will be responsible for administering state operations, such as procurement, information technology and human resources.

As a result of the GRP, the Department of Technology will report to the newly created Government Operations Agency.

“Batjer has an impressive track record of government service over many years,” said Carol Henton, vice president of State and Local Government for TechAmerica, in a press release. “TechAmerica and its members look forward to working with her in an ongoing effort to develop procurement rules and processes that best serve all stakeholders of IT procurement.”

During last year’s Little Hoover Commission hearings where the GRP was considered, TechAmerica testified against changes that would reduce the California Technology Agency from a cabinet-level organization that reports directly to the governor’s office.   The national trade association successfully lobbied to pass follow-up legislation, AB 1498 (Buchanan) that statutorily maintained the state CIO’s direct reporting relationship to the governor.

Former State CIO John Thomas Flynn, who also opposed the GRP in front of the Little Hoover Commission, vouched for Batjer’s capabilities.    Flynn and Batjer worked together during the Wilson Administration where Batjer served as undersecretary of the Business Housing and Transportation Agency and chief deputy director of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing from 1997 to 1998 and 1992 to 1997 respectively.

“[Batjer] is a very strong, capable and experienced professional in and outside of government and she is a great choice for Secretary of the new Operations Agency,” said Flynn in an email.  “[She] will be a strong advocate for enhancing State IT management and performance.”

Batjer previously served as chief of state for Nevada Governor Ken Guinn from 2000 to 2003, as Governor Schwarzenegger’s cabinet secretary from 2003 to 2005, and has worked in high profile positions at the National Security Council and Department of Defense during the Reagan Administration.   Most recently, she was vice president of public policy and corporate social responsibility at Caesars Entertainment Corporation.