Interim CEO Sarah Brady, PhD, Transitioning to Governor’s Appointment with California Energy Commission

A portrait photo of Sarah Brady in formal wear over a light blue background.
Sarah Brady, PhD

SACRAMENTO, CA – After nearly eight years of dedicated service and strategic leadership at the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), Sarah Brady, Ph.D., will be departing her position as Interim CEO in early July. She has accepted a Governor’s Appointment to lead the Office of Governmental and International Affairs at the California Energy Commission (CEC).

“Sarah has been instrumental in CCST’s growth and success during her tenure here,” says CCST Board Chair Peter Cowhey, Ph.D. ”Her deep policy expertise, stakeholder engagement skills, and passion for serving the state have allowed CCST to tackle critical issues at the intersection of science and public policy.”

Brady was a 2014 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow and joined CCST in 2016 after serving in various roles including Legislative Aide and Legislative Director in the office of Assemblymember Susan Bonilla. She was appointed CCST Interim Deputy Director in 2018 and permanently hired to the position in 2019. As Deputy Director, Brady directed large science advisory projects commissioned by the state Legislature and agencies while expanding CCST’s network across California’s policy landscape. She stepped into the role of Interim CEO in September 2023, after the departure of former CEO Amber Mace, Ph.D.

Brady has played an integral role in developing CCST’s annual Science & Technology Week, the Expert Briefing series, the launch of the Disaster Resilience Initiative, and expansion of the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows program into the Executive Branch. She led the long-term strategy to secure state funding for the fellowship program, culminating in the fulfillment of CCST’s $30 million endowment fund in 2023, which ensures that the state has access to science and technology advice in perpetuity. Sarah’s contributions also included expansive reports on complex energy topics including underground natural gas storage and the use of biomethane.

“My time at CCST has been incredibly rewarding, allowing me to work alongside California’s preeminent scientific and technology leaders while informing policy with rigorous research and analysis,” says Brady. “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to learn and grow as a leader and as a science policy expert. Working closely with the CCST team and expanding the impact of our work has been an immense joy.”

CCST’s next CEO, Julianne McCall, Ph.D., will assume the role on September 1, 2024. Brady’s last day at CCST is July 1.

In the interim, CCST is adopting a collaborative leadership model with Brie Lindsey, Ph.D., Lisa Poon, C.P.A., and Puneet Bhullar, M.P.P.A., at the helm. With Sarah, they have each been part of the leadership team for a year or more. The Co-CEO team will continue to lead the organization with vision, enthusiasm, and a commitment to CCST’s mission until McCall begins as CEO.

Interim Co-CEO responsibilities will be distributed as follows:

  • Brie Lindsey, Ph.D., Interim Co-CEO and Director of Science Services:
    Work with Partner Institutions, ongoing programmatic efforts, and new Science Services partnerships
  • Lisa Poon, C.P.A., Interim Co-CEO and Director of Finance and Operations:
    Board governance and operational developments
  • Puneet Bhullar, M.P.P.A., Interim Co-CEO and Director of Policy Engagement:
    CCST S&T Policy Fellowship, fundraising & development strategies, and ongoing policy work

“Sarah’s signature contributions to CCST are as deep as they are broad, especially evident in the organization’s expansion of policy engagement and science services,” says McCall. “She has tirelessly helped grow a strong and dedicated team, and she leaves a legacy of scientific integrity and collaboration. I have no doubt she will return to state service as an invaluable asset in her new role. From the CCST community, Sarah represents the best of us, and we will continue to follow her successes with pride and admiration.”

“As CCST embarks on a new chapter, bolstered by the unwavering support of our dedicated Board and partners, I’m reminded of our collective commitment to this crucial mission,” says Brady. “Even in this period of transition, I’m confident that CCST’s strengths, flexibility, and creativity will continue to enhance our service to California.”

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About the California Council on Science and Technology
The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature in 1988. CCST responds to the Governor, the Legislature, and other State entities who request independent assessment of public policy issues affecting the State of California relating to science and technology. CCST engages leading experts in science and technology to advise state policymakers—ensuring that California policy is strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation.

CCST’s Partner Institutions:
University of California
California State University
California Community Colleges
California Institute of Technology
Stanford University
University of Southern California
NASA’s Ames Research Center
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratories
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

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