Back to Officials


Name: Gomez, Cynthia
Current Position: Executive Secretary

When Governor Jerry Brown appointed Cynthia Varela-Gomez executive secretary of the Native American Heritage Commission in September 2011, he signed an executive order establishing the position of tribal advisor in the Office of the Governor and added that to her portfolio. Gomez,  who is a member of the Yokut Tribe from the Tule River Indian Reservation, will serve as a direct link between tribal governments and the governor’s office on legislation, policy and regulation affecting Native Americans.

Gomez received a juris doctorate degree from the University of Northern California, Lorenzo Patiño School of Law in Sacramento. She went to work for the California Department of Housing and Community Development in 1989 and was with them until  becoming chief of the Native American Liaison Branch for the California Department of Transportation in 1999. She moved to the California Environmental Protection Agency in 2008 as assistant secretary of environmental justice and tribal governmental policy and stayed for two years.

At the time of her appointment by Governor Brown, Gomez was chief justice of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Tribal Court, a position she has held since 2010. Gomez, a Democrat, is a member of the Tribal and State Court Forum for the California Administrative Office of the Courts and has served as chair of the Transportation Research Board's Native American Transportation Issues Committee.


Governor Brown Appoints Tribal Advisor (Press release)

Executive Order B-10-11 (Governor Jerry Brown)            

Executive Secretary (NAHC website)

Bookmark and Share