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Name: Cappio, Claudia
Current Position: Former Director

A 30-year planning veteran in local governments, Claudia Cappio was appointed director of the Department of Housing and Community Development by Governor Jerry Brown in June 2014. She left in April 2015 to become Oakland assistant city administrator.

Cappio received a bachelor of arts degree in urban studies from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1976. She began her career as an assistant and associate planner for the town of Corte Madera from 1980-1985, before becoming Albany planning director from 1985-1995, and Emeryville planning and building director from 1995-2000.

Cappio, a Democrat, was Brown’s director of planning, building, major projects and the Oakland Base Reuse Authority from 2000 to 2007 when the past and future governor was mayor of Oakland. While Brown and Cappio were credited with aggressively redeveloping long-abandoned parts of the city, critics complained of developer-friendly deals that skirted environmental and zoning restrictions by streamlining the approval process and pushing aside city officials who disagreed with the approach.

She left government when Brown moved on to become state attorney general in 2008, forming Sparticles LLC, a planning and development consulting firm. She served on Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s transition team in 2010. Brown appointed her executive director of the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) in 2011.

Cappio is active in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and her selection as CalHFA executive director brought to eight the number of LGBT members appointed to top posts by Brown. Cappio is also certified as a Wilderness First Responder from the Wilderness Medical Institute.


Governor Brown Taps LGBTs for Senior Posts (by Matthew S. Bajko, Bay Area Reporter)

Gov. Brown Appoints Claudia Cappio to Lead State Agency (by Blanca Torres, San Francisco Business Times)

As Mayor, Brown Remade Oakland’s Downtown and Himself (by Zusha Elinson, New York Times)

Profile – Claudia Cappio (by Roger Cruzen, California Real Estate)

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