Commission Senior Management Staff

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CSAC Executive Director Marlene Garcia

Marlene L. Garcia
Executive Director

Marlene Garcia has 25 years’ experience working on education policy issues for a variety of government and higher education institutions. 

She previously served more than six years as a national leader in Apple Inc.’s Education Strategic Initiatives Group. Additionally, in her distinguished career she has served as Vice Chancellor of Government Relations for the California Community College System, Deputy State Policy Director for the California State University System, and as a Senior Policy Consultant in the Senate Education Committee.  She also served as a senior higher education advisor to former Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr.

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General Counsel Julia Blair

Julia Blair
General Counsel

Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Blair and spent thirteen years in the private and public sector, where she practiced state mandates, education, and natural resource law.  Prior to that, she was a judicial extern for the Honorable Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. of the United State District Court Eastern District of California.

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Catalina Mistler Chief Deputy Executive Director

Catalina Mistler
Chief Deputy Executive Director

As Chief Deputy Executive Director, Catalina Mistler is responsible for the oversight of the administration and delivery components of the California Student Aid Commission’s numerous grant, loan assumption and scholarship programs, including the $1 billion annual Cal Grant program that provides low income California students financial assistance at colleges and career technical schools.

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Patrick Perry

Patrick Perry
Division Chief of Policy, Research & Data

Prior to the Student Aid Commission, Patrick was the Chief Information Officer of the California State University (CSU) system, the largest public four-year higher education system in the nation, where he was responsible for the operation of all enterprise student, financial aid, finance, business intelligence, and human resources systems used by the 23-campus system.