Secretary for Environmental Protection
California Environmental Protection Agency
Yana Garcia was appointed California secretary for environmental protection by Governor Gavin Newsom in August 2022. Secretary Garcia oversees the state’s efforts to fight climate change, protect air and water quality, regulate pesticides and toxic substances, achieve the state’s recycling and waste reduction goals, and advance environmental justice. As a member of the governor’s cabinet, she also advises the governor on environmental policy. Since 2021, she has served as special assistant attorney general, advising California Attorney General Rob Bonta on the California Department of Justice’s legal and policy matters pertaining to the environment, land law, and natural resources including climate, transportation, energy, and housing. She was deputy secretary for environmental justice, Tribal affairs and border relations at CalEPA from 2019 to 2021 and was CalEPA’s assistant secretary for environmental justice and Tribal affairs from 2017 to 2019. Prior to her state service, Secretary Garcia was an attorney at Earthjustice in the California regional office in San Francisco. She was also a staff attorney at Communities for a Better Environment. She holds a degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.