Little Hoover Commission Re-Elects Chair Nava and Vice Chair Varner

March 16, 2023
For Additional Information Contact:
Ethan Rarick, Executive Director
(916) 445-0926

The Little Hoover Commission unanimously re-elected Commissioner Pedro Nava as Chair and Commissioner Sean Varner as Vice Chair on Thursday, March 16, 2023. This will be Nava’s tenth consecutive term as Chair and Varner’s seventh consecutive term as Vice Chair.

Nava, a former Assemblymember and prosecutor, served on the Commission from 2005 to 2010 when he was a legislator, and later was appointed as a public member by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez in 2013 and reappointed by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in 2017 and again in 2021.

“It is an honor to be elected to serve another term as Chair of the Little Hoover Commission,” said Nava. “I am committed to working alongside my fellow Commissioners who work tirelessly to improve California government through bipartisan policy analysis and recommendations for change.”

Varner is managing partner at Varner & Brandt LLP, where he focuses on mergers and acquisitions, finance, real estate, and general counsel work. He was appointed to the Commission in 2016 by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

“I am humbled to have been re-elected Vice Chair of the Little Hoover Commission for another term,” said Varner. “I am beyond proud of the work we have accomplished and look forward to continuing our efforts to improve the quality and accountability of California state government to better serve all Californians.”

The Commission is charged with researching public policy issues and making recommendations to the Governor and Legislature about how state government can be made more efficient and effective. In recent years, the Commission has reviewed and made recommendations on a wide variety of study areas, including equitable economic development, California’s affordable housing crisis, the recall process for statewide office-holders, law enforcement training, the pandemic’s impact on children’s mental health, the security of the state’s election infrastructure, and California’s response to both intimate partner violence and labor trafficking.

The Commission has studies underway now on organic waste recycling, California’s developmental disabilities system, and the California Environmental Quality Act. The Commission held a meeting Thursday to discuss current business and to conduct elections of the chair and vice chair. Terms of the officers are for one year.

Nava served in the California Assembly from 2004 to 2010 representing the Ventura and Santa Barbara areas. After leaving the Legislature, Nava served as a government relations advisor. In 2011, he was appointed to the California Department of Fish & Game Blue Ribbon Commission to assist in the development of the Wildlife Strategic Vision. Previously, he worked as a civil litigator after serving as a deputy district attorney in Fresno and Santa Barbara counties. Nava also served on the California Coastal Commission. While in the Legislature, he chaired several Assembly committees, including Transportation, Banking and Finance, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, the Select Committee on California’s Green Economy and the Joint Commission on Emergency Management. Nava also served on several other Assembly committees, including the Insurance, Business and Professions and Joint Legislative Audit, and was an Assembly representative to the Ocean Protection Council and California Transportation Commission.

Varner has over 28 years of legal and business experience, handling critical transactions facing a diverse clientele including Fortune 500 companies, the food and beverage industry, the manufacturing industry, the service industry, the technology sector, entertainment and social media, real estate development and land use, restaurant, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, officers and directors of corporations, and a variety of family-owned businesses. He has also represented oversight boards in the winding down of redevelopment agencies, including the City of Los Angeles and the City of Industry. Among many civic commitments, he has served as Chair of the board of the directors of The Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, as two-time Chairman of the California Inland Empire Chapter of the Young President’s Organization, and as a member of the UC-Riverside Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics.

About the Little Hoover Commission

The Little Hoover Commission is America’s only permanent, independent citizens commission working to improve state government. A nonpartisan oversight agency created in 1962, the Commission includes 13 Commissioners appointed by the Governor and legislative leaders. The Commission’s mission is to investigate state operations and promote efficiency, economy, and improved service.