Monica Hernández is the Deputy Director for the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021, she is focused on telling stories that show what’s possible when every Californian has an affordable and safe place to call home and how our new housing production can be climate friendly and sustainable. Prior to this Ms. Hernández was the first Director of Innovation & Partnerships for the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). In that role she oversaw agency communications and led multiple programs including the Innovative Mobility Program; Race, Equity, and Inclusion initiative, and Youth Leadership Academy. Monica has a passion for leadership and talent development that emerged in her first career as an elementary school teacher. She is a member of Sacramento’s Urban Land Institute Women’s Leadership Initiative, serves as a mentor for Nueva Epoca—a Latinx leadership program, and sits on the advisory board of the UC Davis Center for Public Scholarship and Engagement. Ms. Hernández holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sacramento State and a Master of Science from Purdue University. In her spare time, she is an avid home canner and cyclist.