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Blog Post · September 17, 2015

Three California Leaders Join PPIC Board

photo - California Poppies on a Hillside

PPIC welcomes three distinguished Californians to our board of directors today. Each has made a unique contribution to public life. Together they bring a wealth of leadership experience, rich knowledge of the forces shaping our state, and a strong record of public service. They will be invaluable assets to PPIC as we work to shape a better future for California.

A. Marisa Chun, former prosecutor at the US Department of Justice, is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Based in the firm’s San Francisco Bay Area office, she focuses on complex business litigation, intellectual property litigation, and white-collar criminal defense matters in the state and federal courts. She represents clients in commercial cases and investigations across a broad range of industries, including technology, energy, life sciences and pharmaceutical, health care, manufacturing, and construction and engineering.

Chun served as deputy associate attorney general at the Department of Justice from 2009 to 2013. She focused on antitrust, intellectual property, fraud, telecommunications, privacy, and environmental matters. From 2011 to 2013, she was a special assistant US attorney, prosecuting criminal cases and appeals. Previously, she was a litigation partner at the San Francisco firm of Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP and was outside counsel to PPIC. She has served as chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s litigation section and a mediator for the US District Court for the Northern District of California. She has a BA from Yale University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Gerald Parsky, who has an extensive record of public service in California and Washington, is chairman of Aurora Capital Group LP, a Los Angeles-based investment firm specializing in the acquisition of US companies. Previously, he was a senior partner at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Parsky was assistant secretary of the US Treasury from 1974 until 1977 and was responsible for capital markets policy and for all of the department’s international affairs. He received a number of presidential appointments, serving on President Reagan’s Council on Productivity, President George H. W. Bush’s Export Council, and President George W. Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security. In California, Parsky was a member and chairman of the University of California Board of Regents, chairman of the Commission on the 21st Century Economy, and chairman of the Public Employee Post-Employment Benefits Commission. He currently serves on the boards of the RAND Corporation, the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress, and the Irvine Company. He is a trustee of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Parsky is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia Law School.

Gaddi Vasquez has served in leadership posts in local, state, and federal government in a long career of public service. Today, he is senior vice president of government affairs for Edison International and Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest investor-owned utilities. Before joining SCE in 2009, he served as US ambassador to the United Nations agencies based in Rome, including the World Food Program and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He was director of the United States Peace Corps from 2002 to 2006. Early in his career, Vasquez served as an Orange County supervisor, as chief deputy appointments secretary to California Governor George Deukmejian, and as a police officer for the City of Orange.

Vasquez has served on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, the California Criminal Justice Council, and the California Film Commission. He serves on the boards of the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. He received a bachelor’s degree in public service management from the University of Redlands.

The chair of the PPIC board is Donna Lucas, founder and chief executive officer of Lucas Public Affairs. The other board members are myself; Ruben Barrales, president and CEO of GROW Elect; María Blanco, executive director of the Undocumented Student Legal Services Center in the University of California Office of the President; Louise Henry Bryson, chair emerita of the Board of Trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust; Phil Isenberg, vice chair of the Delta Stewardship Council; Mas Masumoto, author and farmer; Steven A. Merksamer, senior partner of Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP; and Kim Polese, chairman of ClearStreet, Inc.

You can find more information about the PPIC Board of Directors on


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