Commission Senior Management Staff

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tae Kang Division Chief of Program Administration & Services

Tae Kang
Division Chief of Program Administration & Services

As the Division Chief of Program Administration and Services, Tae Kang oversees the administration of the California Student Aid Commission’s financial aid programs including the Cal Grant, Middle Class and Chafee grant.  Additionally, his division provides service and training to students, parents, high schools and universities throughout California.


Jake Brymner
Deputy Director for Policy & Public Affairs

Jake Brymner serves as the Deputy Director for Policy & Public Affairs for the California Student Aid Commission, the nation’s largest state financial aid agency. Prior to joining the Commission in June 2020, Jake was the State & Federal Policy Director for the Campaign for College Opportunity, a non-profit policy research and advocacy organization that promotes college access and student success. Jake has also previously held roles in the office of Congressman Eric Swalwell, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and several political campaigns.