Director of the California Research Bureau: Who Is Anne Neville?

Monday, June 01, 2015
Anne Neville

Governor Jerry Brown plucked the new director of the California Research Bureau, Anne Neville, from the federal government where she was director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) state broadband initiative at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Neville, 38, takes over the nonpartisan research service that assists the governor and his staff, the Legislature and other select state officials prepare reports and memoranda on policy issues. The bureau, which is part of the California State Library, also works on special projects, like the 2013 Women Veteran Survey, and regularly publishes “Studies in the News.”

“Studies in the News” is a compilation of published policy-related items, with summaries and links the governor’s office or the Legislature might find significant. The bureau justifiably describes it as “an excellent way for policy professionals to stay up-to-date about research in their fields.” Access is free.

The bureau promises “discreet services” for those who use its specialized library services, accessing an extensive collection of materials, including databases, on historical and current policy issues. The bureau also regularly conducts seminars and presentations by think tank scholars and academics.

Neville grew up in Berlin, Connecticut, and became interested in technology as a child, at the dawn of the desktop computer age. She received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before picking up a Master of Public Administration at the University of Southern California (USC).

Neville was special project and broker’s assistant at in Rhode Island for a year before signing up with AmeriCorps VISTA in 2000 and becoming founder/director of the Cyber Y Community Technology Center, at the YMCA of San Diego. She taught computer repair, digital literacy and civic engagement classes.

Neville left in 2002 to become program associate at Community Technology Centers’ Network. Two years later, she began work at her first government job, as a legislative aide to Democratic state Senator Sheila Kuehl. Neville worked on legislation and advised Kuehl on the state budget, information technology, telecommunications, transportation and corrections reform.

Neville moved to California’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in 2006 as a senior analyst, where she worked on advanced digital equity issues, including universal service and broadband. Two years later, she was hired as assistant secretary for Economic Development & Technology at the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (now reconfigured and renamed).  

Neville left government, and the country, in 2008 and moved to Switzerland, near Geneva, to work at the World Economic Forum for 11 months. Among her duties, she facilitated workshops for C-Suite IT executives (the company’s senior elites) at the Davos annual meeting and elsewhere.    

She returned to government when her fellowship at the forum ended and took the broadband initiative director’s job at the Commerce Department. In 2011, the NTIA introduced the National Broadband Map, the first public searchable nationwide map of broadband access.

She was there for five years before returning to California. Neville officially takes over at the bureau June 10. The position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $131,004.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Governor Brown Announces Appointments (Office of the Governor)

Spotlight on Commerce: Anne Neville, Director, State Broadband Initiative, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (U.S. Department of Commerce)

The National Broadband Map (by Anne Neville, FCC blog)

Anne Neville (LinkedIn)

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