Robert M. Hertzberg to Serve as Co-Chair of California Forward

SACRAMENTO – Former Assembly Speaker Robert M. Hertzberg today will begin serving as co-chair of California Forward, an ambitious bipartisan effort to remake a state government increasingly hobbled by partisan stalemates, poor fiscal choices, and inadequate public programs. Hertzberg last week was elected to the post by unanimous vote of California Forward’s Leadership Council. The co-chair position was previously held by Leon E. Panetta who recently was tapped by President Barack Obama to serve as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

“It is a rare honor to serve alongside Bob Hertzberg, a leader who has immersed himself in the effort to improve California’s systemic governance problems for more than 15 years,” said Thomas McKernan, fellow co-chair of California Forward. “Bob’s public service—most notably as Speaker of the California State Assembly where he was elected to the post by his peers with unanimous, bipartisan support—and, recently, as a trusted friend and advisor to Governor Schwarzenegger—speaks volumes to his devotion to build bipartisan, public interest reforms that will help California change the way public decisions are made and how public dollars are spent. I look forward to learning from and working alongside him in this important effort.”

In addition to its co‚Äźchairs, California Forward’s Leadership Council includes Robert “Bob” L. Balgenorth, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, R. William “Bill” Hauck, Antonia Hernández, Fred Keeley, Stewart Kwoh, Donna Lucas, Sunne Wright McPeak, Bruce McPherson, Charles “Chuck” Poochigian, Cruz Reynoso, Connie Rice and Gene Voiland.

“I have watched California Forward’s work for the past year and am honored to work alongside public, business and regional leaders who care deeply about California’s future and have devoted their lives to helping its government institutions keep pace with a changing state,” said Hertzberg. “Californians are known for their imagination, creativity, innovation and boundless energy—and our challenge is to recreate a governance system that matches our people. It was done once and we can do it again.” Hertzberg is a partner at Mayer Brown LLP and is chairman and co-founder of G24 Innovations based in Cardiff, Wales, which manufactures a new type of lightweight and flexible solar cell that generates power in low, ambient and even indoor conditions. His work with G24 Innovations and co-founder of Renewable Capital, has made him an active entrepreneur and leader in global policy on renewable energy solutions.

He previously served as a California State Assemblyman representing the 40th District from 1996– 2002 and was Speaker of the California State Assembly from 2000-2002. He chaired the transition team for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and served on the transition team for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is a founding member of the Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). Hertzberg was named as “One of the Most Influential People in Southern California” by the Los Angeles Times. He currently serves on the Board of Counselors for the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development. He is a Magna Cum Laude Graduate of The University of Redlands (1976) and received his JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1979). Hertzberg is married to Dr. Cynthia Telles, who is a faculty member at the UCLA School of Medicine. They live in Sherman Oaks and have three sons, Raymond (20), David (18) and Daniel (16).

California Forward was launched on March 26, 2008, as a multi-year governance reform effort made possible by The James Irvine Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation, The California Endowment, and The Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund.

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