Commission Senior Management Staff

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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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Virginia Jo Dunlap Chief Deputy Director, Chief Legal Officer

Virginia Jo Dunlap
Chief Deputy Director/Chief Legal Officer

Jo Dunlap joined the California Student Aid Commission as General Counsel in 2016.  She has served as General Counsel for a private non-profit, a senior executive in operational risk management for an international consultancy of a publicly traded company, and as a consultant in information governance and electronic content management, in addition to working with other state agencies. 

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Catalina Mistler

Catalina Mistler
Deputy Director, Program Administration & Services Division

As Division Chief of Program Administration and Services, 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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Gurinder Bains

Gurinder Bains
Chief Information Officer

Gurinder Bains was selected in June 2016 to serve as the California Student Aid Commission’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). In this position, he oversees an information technology (IT) portfolio of CSAC. As the CIO, Gurinder serves as the day to day lead for coordinating and managing various functions within Office of the Chief Information Officer, and provides recommendations to the Department’s senior leadership regarding IT, information management, information assurance, and website activities management and operations.

Post Ray Apodaca
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.