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As Director of the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR), Eraina Ortega represents the Governor as the employer in all matters concerning California State human resources and employer-employee relations, including collective bargaining with unions representing rank-and-file state employees and childcare providers. In this role, Eraina oversees management of recruitment and examination, state classification and pay requirements, statewide training, workforce development, and civil rights programs. She holds an ex-officio membership on the 13-member Board of Administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).
Eraina has more than 22 years of experience working in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches, as well as representing counties. She is a leader with a passion for problem solving and collaboration. Eraina joined CalHR as Director in March 2019. She was instrumental in transitioning the state workforce to emergency telework during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and in providing guidance to state departments throughout the pandemic.
She previously served as the first Inspector General at the California Department of Transportation where she established the independent office of the Inspector General and promoted accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayer dollars. Eraina also served as Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Finance, Manager at the Judicial Council, and Fiscal and Policy Analyst at the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Eraina earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Minor in Women’s Studies at the University of California, Irvine and a Master’s Degree of Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.