Julianne McCall, PhD, Named Next CEO of CCST

A headshot of Julianne McCall in business attire with a portrait crop and a light brown background, and a light blue background surrounding the image.
Julianne McCall, PhD

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Board of Directors of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) announced the selection of Julianne McCall, PhD, as CCST’s next chief executive officer. McCall, currently the Director of Precision Medicine in the California Governor’s Office of Planning & Research (OPR), will assume her new role on September 1, 2024.

“After completing a rigorous nationwide search for this critical position, the members of the CCST Board of Directors are thrilled that Dr. McCall will bring her many talents to advancing our mission,” said Board Chair Peter Cowhey, PhD. “CCST’s stature as a source of independent, non-partisan, and evidence-based science and technology advice to California policymakers is stronger than ever. Under Dr. McCall’s leadership and with the strength of an excellent team, we have high expectations for the future of CCST and what more we can accomplish with our partners.”

In her role as Director of Precision Medicine at OPR, McCall oversees cross-sector health policy working groups and projects, research grantmaking, and state government interagency efforts, which include co-authoring the first-ever CA Surgeon General’s Report and co-leading the development of a nationwide health innovation network for the new federal program, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), for which she was named 2023 Government Official of the Year by Biocom California. Previously, McCall worked on public health and research policy in the California Senate Office of Research and as a 2017 CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellow. Prior to her career in policy, she spent 16 years in neuroscience research labs, including the Salk Institute, Stanford University, the Cleveland Clinic, and the National Center for Microscopy Imaging Research. She conducted medical research as a Fulbright Fellow in Sweden and as a neuroscientist at the Neuroregeneration Laboratory of Heidelberg University in Germany.

“It is the greatest honor to join CCST as its CEO for this next chapter of advancing science and technology policy in the nation’s most innovative state,” said McCall. “Building on the organization’s world-class suite of programs and network of experts, testament to visionary leadership past and present, I am excited to lead the team in passionately pursuing our mission of service in an age when accelerated, equitable progress is increasingly vital to California’s edge.”

In the community, McCall teaches graduate courses in science policy at UC Davis and UC Riverside; serves as CEO and Managing Publisher of the Journal of Science Policy & Governance; participates as a Class of 2024 Delegate of the US-Japan Leadership Program; has directed the International “Brain Bee” Neuroscience Olympiad for high school students across fifty countries; and is the co-founder of TEDxFulbright and a chapter of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network for racial justice. She earned a PhD in Neuroscience from Heidelberg University in Germany, a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from UC San Diego, and a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Denison University.

“Julianne brings a clear passion for science policy and its real-world impacts to this leadership role,” said CCST Interim CEO Sarah Brady, PhD. “Her longstanding support of CCST and active engagement in our CCST Science Fellow Alumni network, combined with her strong commitment to non-partisan research and analysis, provide a solid foundation to build on CCST’s current work and further our mission to strengthen evidence-based public policy.”

As CEO, McCall will serve as the lead liaison to state and national leaders in policy, philanthropy, and science and technology related issues. As such, she will be responsible for developing responsive programs and services to provide science, engineering, and technical advice to the State of California’s government—listening and engaging to advance CCST’s role as a thought leader in the science policy community. McCall will also be the chief executive responsible for CCST’s administration, fundraising, budgeting, and overseeing the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship. Working with the board of directors, she will be the point person for CCST’s ambition to further deepen the ties between the state government and CCST’s partner institutions, listed below.



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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