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Wanted: Citizens to represent the region on state boards and commissions


Appointments Secretary Mona Pasquil recently visited the San Bernardino County Government Center in San Bernardino to help recruit citizens to serve on state boards and commissions.

The State of California’s Boards and Commissions are a litany of vast and varied topics: the Boating and Waterways Commission, the state boards of Barbering and Cosmetology, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Gambling Control Commission.

Mona Pasquil knows all the vacancies by heart and tours the state of California looking for hundreds of citizens willing to serve and represent their communities on the state’s Boards and Commissions.

In January 2011, Pasquil was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown  to serve as his Appointments Secretary which she calls “the best job I ever had.”

That’s a bold statement considering Pasquil is a seasoned political adviser and strategist who also served as acting Lieutenant Governor after former Lieutenant Governor John Garamedi was elected to Congress. It marked the first time a woman, Asian Pacific Islander or Filipino-American, has served as Lieutenant Governor of California.

In her latest role, it’s especially important for Pasquil – the granddaughter of immigrants – to find people from a wide variety of backgrounds to serve, who are “not in the paper all the time, but working in the community all the time.”

“The Governor has asked the appointments team to find citizen public servants,” she said. “We’ve come to San Bernardino County to demystify the process and encourage people to participate.”

Time commitments vary depending on the board or commission. Some people serve statutory terms of two or four years, some people serve at the pleasure of the governor which means they can be replaced at any time, others need Senate confirmation to be appointed. Some boards meet four times a year, others meet once a month.

“Some are paid, but most are volunteer,” Pasquil said.

There are a variety of positions available, especially for non-experts. For instance, the Medical Board of California has vacancies for licensees and part-time faculty, but there is also a vacancy for a member of the public who does not have any affiliation with doctors or the medical field.

“We need the perspective from the outside,” Pasquil said of public members. “They ask the best questions. Sometimes the public members hear discipline cases and they tell us, ‘Do we have the right regulations to protect members of the public? Is this necessary? Is this outdated?'”

For example, Pasquil has spoken to a group of teachers about serving on Boards and Commissions who would likely fit in just fine on boards pertaining to education, but she needs them in a different role.

Pasquil got one teacher who was interested in guide dogs to serve on the state board for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

“It was totally not in her lane, but people have those passions,” she said.

Pasquil is looking for people who are comfortable asking questions of experts and who have a willingness to serve.

There have been challenges recruiting people from the Inland Empire as well as other areas of the state. For instance, a cancer research board had a member from the Central Valley retire and all the new applicants for the vacancy were from the San Francisco area. But the Central Valley has a number of health issues and needs that are different from those in northern California, Pasquil said.

The same goes for the Inland Empire, where issues on a variety of matters are different from those in other areas of the state.

“To not have a voice, to not have the Inland Empire represented is a loss for the region,” she said. “They would represent this part of the state.”

Anyone interested in applying for Boards and Commissions should visit A list of current vacancies is available here.

8 thoughts on "Wanted: Citizens to represent the region on state boards and commissions"

  1. Eric Diesel says:

    The links go to Jan 2015 vacancies. Where is the list of 2016 vacancies?

    1. Current information from the state is available at

  2. Cora J. Oliver-Ward says:

    I am interested in the Equal Opportunity Commission, Housing Authority and Aging and Adult Services Commission.

    1. Thank you for contacting us. Information on opportunities to serve on County boards and commissions as well as applications are available at,CommissionsCommittees.aspx.

  3. Mo Hasan says:

    I am interested to serve on boards and commissions of the State of California. I am a 43 year resident of California, have a couple of Master’s degrees, married with two children and willing to travel to Sacramento and other places from Ventura. Not knowing what is available, I have included only my public service page below. Also this month’s Ventana magazine has a feature article,
    Please guide me, I’ll be grateful!
    Mo Hasan
    POB 6385, Ventura, CA 83006
    Community Involvement of M O H A M M E D A. H A S A N

    Professional Leadership
    American Public Works Association-Leadership Fellow, 2012
    American Society of Civil Engineers-Fellow, 2005
    MIT Enterprise Forum, Membership Committee
    Tri-State Seminar, Laughlin, Nevada-Speaker 2001, 2016
    Environmental Business Council of Ventura County-President, 2000
    North American Society of Trenchless Technology-Speaker, 1997
    Channel Counties Water Utilities Association-President, 1985
    American Water Works Association-Distinguished Life Member, 2008
    Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County-Director, 1980-1984
    Various publications in Technical Journals and proceedings of National Conferences
    Environmental Reporter, Ventura Sun, 1992
    “Drought is Not a Four-Letter Word”, a citizens guide to new water, August 2015
    Column Writer, “Breeze”, Newsletter of Ventura East Rotary
    Besides English, fluent in Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali
    Presentation on engineering innovations in trade clubs, societies and associations
    Community Service
    Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Ventura County-Board Member, 2001-2003
    Ventura Chamber of Commerce – Governmental Affairs Committee
    Rotary International, Ventura East-Paul Harris Fellow, major Benefactor, Centennial President
    Volunteer, Loma Vista Elementary School, 1999-2003
    Judge, Ventura County Science Fair, 2001
    Jailbird, Muscular Dystrophy Association, 2002
    Tri Counties Easter Seal Society-Director, 1998-2002; Consult/Net- President, 1989
    Ventura Youth Employment Service-Director 1985-1990
    Ventura Trade Club-Head Trader, 1993
    Villa Seville Homeowners Association-President, 1978
    Proponent and signatory-$327M Community College District bond measure S, 2002
    Facilities committee, Boys and Girls club, Ventura, 2010
    Volunteer, Catholic Charities, family to family, Ventura, 2010
    Judge, California Migrant Education regional debate and speech tournament, 2013
    Advisory committee member, Waterproofing Kids, Oxnard 2012-present
    Focus on the Masters, Board Member, 2013-2016
    Temple Beth Torah, Ventura, Speaker, 2017
    El Concilio family services, Board Member, Vice President, 2015-Present
    Creator, Woodsy the Owl children’s education program-Ventura county schools 1974-79
    Organized first recycling center in Ojai, countywide newsprint recycling and litter control programs 1974-79
    Oxnard Schools – Public Awareness Speaker on water/wastewater, 1979-1984
    Founder and Speaker, water and wastewater public awareness program, City of Oxnard, 1979-84
    Volunteer Ventura County Fair-Solid Waste 1975-78 and Rose Society 1986
    Sponsorships, Donations, Fund raising and Coaching
    Star in Education Program, Ventura County Star
    Quad Beautification Project, Anacapa Middle School, Ventura; Quad Improvement, Ventura High School
    Career Day presenter, Foothill Tech High School, Ventura; R. J. Frank Academy and Sierra Linda School, Oxnard
    Zoe Christian Center, Oxnard, Environmental Services
    Free community classes: Basic Conv. Spanish, Financial Independence, Cooking w/ spices, Stress- Health-Longevity
    Camarillo sober prom donation of BMW along with Hal Watkins BMW
    Half Dome expedition to raise scholarship money for local high schools, September 28, 2009
    Half Marathon race completion to raise scholarship money for children, Dec. 11, 2011
    Honor-U.S. Congress, California State Assembly, County of Ventura, Cities: Ventura, Oxnard, 2009 and 2014
    Brief biography, Gravity Flow, publication of Calif. Water Environment Assoc., June 2005
    “Management firm helps build future”–Ventura County Star, Jan. 19, 1997
    “People you should know- Mohammed Hasan”-Oxnard Press Courier, Feb. 15, 1981
    Who’s Who in Government-Marquis, 1977
    Non-English newspaper/TV interviews-Spanish Mi Estrella, Hispanidades, Vida; Bengali Ekush, Channel18
    Guest, Dr. Bunny talk radio show, KKZZ- AM 1400, June 2, 2009
    Quarter Century Recognition award, California Water Environment Association, April 17, 2013
    Guest of Honor, downtown Los Angeles parade, Bangladesh Independence Day, 2014
    Ventana Monthly, feature on longevity, Blueprint for Living, Jan. 2017

    1. Thank you. You can apply for service on a state commission by visiting this website:

  4. Olivia Fields says:

    I am a retiring educator with an extensive background in education, non profits and financial planning.
    As an African American woman I am eager to give back to mu community and state. I would be interested in serving on a board or state commission. Please let me know if there are any opportunities available.

    1. Hi Olivia, thank you for your interest. Here is a link to the state’s appointments website

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