The Deputy Director, Tribal Affairs position will be responsible for implementing the Department’s new Tribal Affairs Program. This program will work with and support the units, regions, and programs to cultivate and enhance relationships with tribal governments and communities. This program will also be responsible for assisting the Department with expanding our knowledge and understanding of working with tribes.

Since 2017, Deputy Director Lopez has served as the Assistant Director of the International Affairs Office and Office of Tribal Coordination at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She was tasked with leading and enhancing the Office of Tribal Coordination for Cal OES. In this capacity, she was the Department’s liaison for the 109 federally recognized tribes and 62 non-federally recognized Tribal Nations, fostering collaboration and partnership to ensure effective communication, meaningful government-to-government consultation, and the provision of technical assistance and resources, including grants and training opportunities. During emergencies, she led efforts in identifying and addressing disaster impacts and unmet needs within Tribal Nations and coordinated resources throughout the disaster and recovery phases. She assisted in the historic partnership where a Tribal Nation joined the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System. Deputy Director Lopez’s dedication for the Whole Community approach has been instrumental in building and nurturing the Cal OES Office of Tribal Coordination and strengthening partnerships and building trust with the Tribal Nations.

As the Assistant Director of the International Affairs Office, she was responsible for advising the Cal OES Director on international policy and coordinating aid and resources for countries during global emergencies. She has leveraged relationships with Consulates, State Departments, Office of Foreign Mission, and advocacy groups that support California’s vulnerable and diverse populations. Her efforts have extended globally by furthering mutual interests and best practices in emergency management through international delegation visits and bi-national Memorandums of Understanding. 

Deputy Director Lopez has over three decades of public service and has held leadership positions both at Cal OES and the Department of Food and Agriculture. She has extensive leadership experience in grant management, internal audits, policy and procedure development, program implementation, and emergency management.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the California State University, Sacramento.