Sacramento, CA–Governor Gavin Newsom Friday announced the appointment of Employment Development Department (EDD) Chief Deputy Director of External Affairs, Legislation and Policy Nancy Farias as Director of EDD, filling the role held by outgoing Director Rita Saenz since 2020. Director Saenz will continue to serve the Administration by resuming her role as a Commissioner on the California Commission on Aging.
“Director Saenz took the helm at EDD at a critical juncture of the pandemic, bringing her decades of experience in the public and private sectors to tackle the unprecedented challenges facing our state and nation,” said Governor Newsom. “With her steadfast leadership and dedication to public service, Director Saenz spearheaded important reforms at the Department to better serve working Californians, prevent fraud and hold bad actors to account. On behalf of all Californians, I thank her for taking on this vital role and for continuing to serve the people of our state as part of the Administration.”
Farias will begin serving as Director of the Department effective February 1.
“Nancy Farias has played an invaluable role in the Department’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the state’s unemployment system and implement improvements to better support hard-working Californians when they need it most. I look forward to her partnership in this all-important work to help California’s families, businesses and communities continue to recover and thrive,” the Governor added.
Farias, 49, of Sacramento, has served as Chief Deputy Director of External Affairs, Legislation, and Policy at the California Employment Development Department since 2020. Farias was Director of Government Relations at SEIU Local 1000 from 2017 to 2020. She was Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of Senator Henry Stern from 2016 to 2017 and District Director at the Office of Assemblymember Mike Gatto from 2015 to 2016. She was Deputy Secretary of Legislation at the Government Operations Agency from 2013 to 2016, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs at the California Department of Human Resources from 2012 to 2013, and Legislative Director at SEIU Local 1000 from 2009 to 2012. Farias was Senior Vice President at Smith, Ruddock, and Hayes from 2008 to 2009 and an Associate at Wolkon and Pascucci LLP from 2002 to 2008. Farias earned a Master of Science degree in Political Science from Suffolk University and a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School. The position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $204,613.