UC Center Sacramento, or UCCS, announced its selection of former state legislator Catharine Baker as the center’s governance fellow for 2023. She served in the state Assembly from 2014 to 2018, representing an East Bay district, and now serves as a member of the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission and as special counsel in the Bay Area’s Hoge Fenton law firm.
The center, administered by UC Davis, disseminates public policy research and runs a quarterly academic program for California’s future leaders — undergraduates from around the UC system — preparing them for careers in public service and sharing knowledge in the interest of better policymaking.
A new governance fellow — normally alternating between Democrat and Republican — is brought in annually to work with students as they undertake coursework and internships at or near the Capitol. Baker represented Assembly District 16 in the East Bay as a Republican; her predecessor as governance fellow, Diana Dooley, served in Democrat Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown’s two gubernatorial administrations.
“Assemblymember Baker was a strong bipartisan voice in the Legislature,” said Richard Kravitz, director of UC Center Sacramento. “Based on her deep experience as a legislator, as a commissioner on the Fair Political Practices Commission and in her many volunteer activities, she will offer our students a unique perspective on public service.”
Baker’s legislative accomplishments include the creation of Valley Link to build a commuter rail connection between the Central Valley and the Bay Area, more admissions opportunities for California residents to UC, and greater transparency and accountability rules for state and regional agencies.
At the Hoge Fenton firm, she advises businesses and nonprofit organizations, and practices election law. She has served on the state Fair Political Practices Commission since 2020, appointed by then-state Controller Betty T. Yee, a Democrat.
A graduate of the University of Chicago and the UC Berkeley School of Law, Baker clerked for a U.S. district judge, and worked as a senior congressional aide on Capitol Hill and on presidential and congressional campaigns in California.
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