ALAMEDA, Calif. — California's governor-elect, Jerry Brown, said Tuesday that he will keep Ana Matosantos as director of the Department of Finance.
As finance director, Matosantos will be the administration's point person for addressing California's substantial budget deficit.
"Ana has what it takes to manage the Department of Finance during this period of fiscal crisis," Brown said in a statement Tuesday. She is one of Brown's first two cabinet appointments.
Matosantos' current boss, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, declared a budget emergency Monday, citing a current-year budget that will be $6 billion out of balance, according to the Legislative Analyst's Office.
Schwarzenegger proposed a package of $9.9 billion in budget solutions — though most of them wouldn't take effect until fiscal 2012, and nearly all of them have been proposed previously by the governor and rejected by lawmakers.
Brown takes his first significant step into the budget waters Wednesday with a forum for lawmakers and other state elected officials in Sacramento.
"As California confronts a multibillion-dollar structural deficit, I will do everything in my power to manage the budget process in a thoughtful and inclusive way," Matosantos said in a statement.
The native of Puerto Rico has been director of finance since late 2009, when she was promoted to replace Mike Genest, who left to pursue private-sector consulting.
Before joining the Finance Department in 2008, Matosantos held staff positions in the governor's office, the Health and Human Services Agency, and as a consultant for two state Senate committees.
Brown is to be sworn in as governor on Jan. 3 and must present his first budget proposal a week later.
Matosantos' appointment requires Senate confirmation.
Brown Tuesday also appointed Diana Dooley as secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency. Dooley is president and chief executive of the California Children's Hospital Association. In that role, she spurred the association's successful 2008 ballot measure campaign to authorize $980 million of state general obligation bonds to benefit children's hospitals.
Dooley served in the first two Brown administrations, between 1975 and 1983.