Executive Leadership Team
Meredith Williams is the Acting Director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. She was selected to serve as Acting Director by California Secretary of Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld on January 9, 2019.
Meredith joined DTSC in 2013 as Deputy Director of the Department’s Safer Consumer Products Program to lead the implementation of California’s groundbreaking effort to reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products. She has expertise in research and development, product management, and operations for Fortune 500 companies in the technology, consumer product, and chemical sectors, including 3M and Applied Materials, a leading semiconductor manufacturer.
Following her work in the private sector, Meredith held a number of leadership positions at the nonprofit San Francisco Estuary Institute, a nationally recognized center for science in support of aquatic resource management.
Meredith strives for collaborative solutions to complex problems and has a track record of championing interdisciplinary project management approaches. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University and a doctorate in physics from North Carolina State University.
Chief Deputy Director
Francesca Negri was sworn in as DTSC’s Chief Deputy Director on January 4, 2016. Francesca served as chief at the California Department of Transportation’s Division of Procurement and Contracts from 2010 to 2016. She was chief of Human Resources at the California Department of Motor Vehicles before that and held several positions at the California Department of Transportation from 1998 to 2009, including assistant chief of the Division of Human Resources, office chief of Classification and Hiring, branch chief of Return to Work and the Workers’ Compensation Program, and a discipline analyst and equal employment opportunity specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in human development from the University of California, Davis.
Deputy Directors and Assistants
Special Assistant for Program Review
Christie Bautista was appointed DTSC’s Special Assistant for Program Review on March 26, 2018, where she has served as a senior environmental scientist since 2013 and as an environmental scientist from 2006 to 2013.
Christie was president of the American Society for Public Administration’s Southern California Chapter from 2014 to 2016, a fire and environmental specialist at the Glendale Fire Department from 2004 to 2006, and staff environmental consultant at the Clayton Group Services national consulting firm from 2002 to 2004. She holds a Doctor of Public Administration from the University of La Verne in Southern California. She earned her master’s in public administration from California State University, Northridge.
Chief Information Officer
Jennifer Benson is DTSC’s Chief Information Officer, beginning with the Department in 2017. She served as a Systems Software Specialist II (Supervisor) for the California Environmental Protection Agency beginning in 2015 and previously worked for DTSC in the Office of Environmental Information.
Jennifer has over 30 years of information technology experience, with the last 20 focused on project, program, and portfolio management in state and local government and the private sector. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management information systems, and has earned several technical certifications including project management professional, VMware certified associate, information technology infrastructure library and Microsoft certified systems engineer.
Administrative Services Deputy Director
Nicole Carr was appointed DTSC’s Deputy Director of Administrative Services in July 2019. As a key member of DTSC’s Executive Management Team, Nicole leads the Office of Administrative Services, providing administrative policy guidance as well as oversight of DTSC’s Human Resources, Business Services, Regional Administration, and Health and Safety programs.
Nicole most recently served as Branch Chief of the Human Resource Services Branch for the California Department of Social Services, where she was responsible for managing the administration of multiple personnel and human resources-related functions including classification and pay, payroll services, workers’ compensation, training, labor and employee relations, workforce development and succession planning.
Previously, Nicole served as Assistant Deputy Director for the California Department of Housing and Community Development, where she was responsible for administering the Division of Financial Assistance’s administrative functions related to human resources, procurement, contracts, facilities, fleet management, fiscal and grant reporting, policy and procedure development, and the management of multiple affordable housing programs to improve public housing and prevent homelessness.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from Scripps College and a Master of Public Administration from City University, New York.
Site Mitigation & Restoration Program Acting Deputy Director
Grant Cope was named Acting Deputy Director of DTSC’s Site Mitigation and Restoration Program early in 2019. He was appointed and currently serves as Deputy Secretary for Environmental Policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Grant previously lived and worked in Washington, D.C.
He served as senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, handling an array of legal and policy matters including toxic chemical regulation, cost-benefit analysis, administrative law, drinking water quality, scientific integrity, nuclear safety, and hazardous waste cleanup issues. He worked to pass national legislation adopting California state laws on formaldehyde levels in composite wood products and to eliminate lead from drinking water pipes, while also helping to preserve various state laws including Proposition 65.
Grant also developed national policies on hazardous waste management and cleanup for the Sierra Club in 2005.He was an associate attorney with Earthjustice from 2002 to 2004, and staff attorney at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group from 1998 to 2002, where he analyzed and developed national legislation and rules and policies concerning drinking water quality and toxic waste cleanups. He began his career championing the environment in 1996 at the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, including serving as the organization’s Executive Director.
Grant graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 1993, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science. In 1998, he received a juris doctor and a Natural Resources Law Institute Award from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College.
Hazardous Waste Management Program Acting Deputy Director
Rizgar A. Ghazi is the Acting Deputy Director of DTSC’s Hazardous Management Program. Rizgar served as the Department’s Permitting Division Chief from 2015 to 2017. Rizgar has over 29 years of experience in the environmental field, with an emphasis on hazardous waste management and environmental restoration and cleanup, as well as technical, supervisory, and managerial experience. More recently, Rizgar was responsible for reorganizing the hazardous waste permitting program and creating a streamlined permitting process to make timely and protective permit decisions.
Rizgar received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from California State University, Sacramento, and is a licensed professional engineer.
Amilia Glikman became DTSC’s Chief Counsel in 2016 after serving as Assistant Chief Counsel and, from 2012 to 2015, as an attorney at the Department specializing in cost recovery and remediation of contaminated properties. Amilia was a senior legal research attorney at the Sacramento County Superior Court from 2010 to 2012 and an associate attorney in the Environmental Law Practice Group at Downey Brand LLP from 2002 to 2010. Amilia earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Research Scientist Manager
Bruce LaBelle has directed the Department’s Environmental Chemistry Laboratory since 2005. From 1989 until 2005, he worked in DTSC’s Pollution Prevention Program, evaluating environmental technologies. From 1987 to 1989, he was a field inspector in DTSC’s Enforcement Program. He has a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of California, Davis, and postdoctoral research experience at the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in structure-activity relationships and at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the synthesis of optically active chemicals.
Chief, Office of Civil Rights
Allison Lyman began her service as Chief of DTSC’s Office of Civil Rights on July 15, 2019. She previously served as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer for California’s Department of State Hospitals (2014-2016) and Chief of Equal Employment Opportunity for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (2016-2017).
Allison also worked as a consultant, providing training and compliance expertise and services to a variety of clients in the public sector on the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act, as well as state and federal workers’ compensation and disability employment law.
Most recently, Allison served as an Enterprise Compliance Manager for the California State Teachers Retirement System. Allison earned a Bachelor of Arts in government and completed the Master of Arts program in government from California State University, Sacramento.
Environmental Equity Deputy Director and Tribal Liaison
Ana Mascareñas was appointed DTSC’s first Assistant Director for Environmental Justice in May 2015. In May 2019 she was named Environmental Equity Deputy Director to lead the department’s Environmental Justice, Public Participation, and Tribal Affairs programs. Ana serves as DTSC’s Tribal Liaison.
Before coming to the Department, Ana was a membership coordinator and then the policy and communications director at Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, where she promoted environmental health protections and fought for social and environmental justice in local, state, and national policy efforts. From 2006 to 2008, Ana served in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., offices of then-Congressman Xavier Becerra, directly assisting constituents in their claims and applications with federal agencies. She was a member of the East Los Angeles Residents Association board of directors from 2007 to 2015, where she organized alongside community, youth, and business leaders to improve social, educational, economic and structural resources through advocacy and civic engagement.
Ana graduated from Brown University with bachelor’s degrees in human biology and sociology, and received a Master of Public Health in environmental health sciences from the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. Ana was born in Northern California and raised in New Mexico.
Chief Financial Officer
Ellen Moratti is the Department’s Chief Financial Officer. Prior to this appointment, she served as director of the Administrative Services Division at the California Public Utilities Commission, and was a principal program budget analyst with the California Department of Finance before that. Ellen has over 25 years’ experience in government operations, budgeting, and developing policy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.
Safer Products and Workplaces Program Acting Deputy Director
Karl Palmer has been named Acting Deputy Director for DTSC’s Safer Products and Workplaces Program. Prior to this position he managed the Safer Consumer Products Branch, where he was responsible for developing, implementing, and enforcing California’s Safer Consumer Products regulations.
Karl has worked for DTSC for over 30 years in a wide array of management and technical positions, including managing programs in Pollution Prevention, Hazardous Waste Management, and Emergency Response. Karl received his Bachelor of Science in resource sciences from the University of California, Davis.
Site Mitigation and Brownfields Reuse Program Assistant Deputy Director
Suhasini Patel became Assistant Deputy Director for DTSC’s Site Mitigation and Brownfields Reuse Program in 2017. Suhasini joined DTSC 10 years earlier, working first in the Site Mitigation and Hazardous Waste Management programs. She served in several units, including as Chief of Special Projects and Chief of Research and Policy Development, and as a hazardous substances scientist. Most recently Suhasini has served as an Environmental Program Manager on the Exide Residential Cleanup project. In that capacity she has demonstrated her deep commitment to public service, to environmental justice and restoration, and to DTSC.
Prior to joining DTSC, she was project chemist at TetraTech Environmental Management Inc., an information technology services manager at Entech Analytical Laboratories, and an information systems department manager at Therma Corporation from. She holds a Master of Science degree in microbiology from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.
Office of Communications Deputy Director
Rosanna Westmoreland became DTSC’s Deputy Director for the Office of Communications in 2016. She had previously served as the external communications manager in the Office of Public Affairs at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System since 2012. There she provided strategic advice to the CEO, Executive Team, and the media on challenging and complex issues involving the pension fund’s investments, health and retirement issues and municipal bankruptcies.
Rosanna was vice president of communications and marketing at the California Medical Association from 2010 to 2011, where she managed media relations, physician communications, and production of the California Physician magazine. As division manager of communications and news at the California Farm Bureau Federation from 2007 to 2010, Rosanna managed the weekly agricultural newspaper Ag Alert, the weekly television program California Country, and the bimonthly companion magazine California Country. She earned a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s in communications from California State University, Bakersfield.