National Advisory Council

Tom MacBride (Chair)

Of Counsel, Downey Brand LLP

National Advisory Council: 2016

Tom MacBride is Of Counsel at Downey Brand LLP after 35 years as a partner at Goodin, MacBride, Squeri & Day LLP in San Francisco. He continues to specialize in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). He served as President of the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel (CCPUC) in 1997-98, a position he also held in 1982-83. Mr. MacBride participated in a number of successful legislative initiatives to reform CPUC procedures, including the drafting and advocacy leading to the enactment of the Calderon-Peace-...

Katie Merrill

Partner, BaughmanMerrill

National Advisory Council: 2014

Katie Merrill is one of California’s most successful female and LGBT campaign managers and statewide consultants. She is a partner in the nationally-recognized political consulting, direct mail, and media firm, BaughmanMerrill, which is based in San Francisco.

Over the course of her career, Katie has advised and run over a dozen statewide initiative and candidate campaigns in California. Most recently, she helped Eleni Kounalakis and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra become the first elected woman Lt. Governor and Latino Attorney General...

Matt Middlebrook

Head of Policy and Government Affairs - California, Hawaii, Alaska, Airbnb

National Advisory Council: 2019

Matt Middlebrook is Head of Policy and Government Affairs (California, Hawaii, Alaska) for Airbnb. A recognized leader in government affairs, public policy, and strategic communications, Matt Middlebrook’s background reflects his ability to bring people together - even those with competing agendas to gain buy-in for the adoption of new ideas. Over his career, Mr. Middlebrook has built a reputation as a strategic leader. In addition to sharing ideas in an open forum, he is especially skilled at creating goodwill and helping people to see the value in...

Laiza Negrete

PAC Director, California Association of REALTORS

National Advisory Council: 2014

Laiza Negrete currently serves as the PAC Director with the California Association of REALTORS® handling the political resources for one of the top trade associations in the state. Before joining CRE-PAC, Laiza worked for the New York State Assembly and the Council of State Governments, Western Office. Laiza has been selected for CalNewsroom's list of the "Capitol's 100 Best & Brightest" (...

Chris Patterson

State Government Relations, Pacific Gas & Electric

National Advisory Council: 2015

Over the last decade, Chris Patterson has been at the forefront of California’s policy and political arenas in a variety of capacities.

Since 2018, Chris has led State Government Relations for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), where he has been responsible for legislative and public affairs efforts on state energy and economic policies, as well as other key initiatives in support of PG&E's business operations, 24,000 employees, and the 16 million Californians the Company serves.

Previously, Chris served as the State...

Heather Podesta

Founder and CEO, Invariant

National Advisory Council: 2011

Heather Podesta guides a bipartisan team as the founder and CEO of Invariant. Now in its fourteenth year, Invariant is considered one of the nation’s top government relations firms. Known for her political savvy, substantive policy chops, and commonsense approach, Heather translates Washington for business and business for Washington. Her work is highlighted in many major media outlets, with profiles in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, which quotes a senior Senator remarking that, “Heather is invariably the most knowledgeable person in...

Jon Ross

Partner, KP Public Affairs

National Advisory Council: 2016

Jon Ross is a partner at KP Public Affairs. He joined the firm in 1996. He is a registered lobbyist and lawyer. He has specific expertise in financial services law and regulation, and has played a leading role in managing the financial services industry's response to a number of critical issues, including legislative efforts to regulate financial privacy, credit card marketing and outsourcing. Mr. Ross has also lobbied on a host of issues important to small businesses, including state wage and hour laws and regulations, workers compensation reform,...

Alan Unger

National Advisory Council: 2016

Alan Unger has over 40 years of experience working with public and private sector organizations – both domestic and international – managing projects and providing strategic planning and guidance in the areas of public policy, marketing and communications. He worked with a number of California public affairs and governmental organizations including the Canadian Foreign Ministry’s San Francisco Consulate, managing the political-economic, media, and academic relations activities for six western states. For four years, he directed internationally...

Bracken White

Managing Director, Atlantic-Pacific Capital

National Advisory Council: 2021

Bracken White is Managing Director of Atlantic-Pacific Capital. He provides senior strategic and project management guidance for capital formation mandates to fund managers. He also works with global institutional investors, Sovereigns, and family offices in their allocation to alternative investments. Bracken has filled this role for the past two decades in the US, Europe and the Middle East. He is also on the Advisory Board of WMC Holdings, a closely held owner of mission-critical real estate assets leased to the United States government. Bracken is...

Amy Worth

Mayor, City of Orinda

National Advisory Council: 2021

Amy Worth was elected to the Orinda City Council in 1998 and currently serves as Mayor of Orinda.

Representing the nineteen Contra Costa Cities, she is a member and past Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

She is a board member and past chair of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (County Connection)...