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UC Davis names governor’s senior adviser to chief counsel post

July 25, 2013

University of California, Davis, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi today announced the hiring of Jacob Adams Appelsmith as the new chief campus counsel.

Appelsmith, currently a senior adviser to California Governor Jerry Brown and a graduate of the UC System, will assume his new duties effective Sept. 3, 2013. In his new capacity, he will assist the chancellor through the provision of legal advice and assisting the University of California general counsel in coordinating legal services to the UC Davis campus.

In addition to providing advice and counsel on a wide range of highly complex legal matters or problems involving the university, this position will provide expertise in the specialty area of business transactions. This includes advising on business and corporate structures; competitive bidding; complex business, finance and energy projects; and international initiatives.

Appelsmith has served in the Governor’s Office since 2011 as a member of the executive staff and as an adviser to the governor on issues ranging from public safety and emergency management to the California National Guard, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the California Lottery and Gaming. He is a negotiator for tribal-gaming compacts, tribal land-use issues and all legal matters related to the state’s Native American tribes.

“We are most pleased to welcome Jacob back to the UC System. His broad experiences not only in practicing the law, but in working within state government, promise outstanding leadership for UC Davis,” Chancellor Katehi said. “We welcome his experience also in working with communities throughout the state and the breadth of knowledge he offers regarding California – our laws, our government and opportunities for higher education.”

Appelsmith also serves as the director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, where he is the chief regulator to the state’s alcoholic beverage industry and its 85,000 licensees. In this position he is also a sworn peace officer, directing more than 200 special agents in criminal investigation and enforcement matters.

Prior to his work with Governor Brown, he worked at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, where he served as special assistant attorney general for three years and prior to that as the chief of the Bureau of Gambling Control. Within the Department of Justice, he also served as senior assistant attorney general for Employment, Regulation and Administration.

Appelsmith also brings private-practice experience with Pillsbury Madison and Sutro in San Francisco and Sacramento.

He holds his Juris Doctor from the UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in American History from Middlebury College.

“Working with Governor Jerry Brown during the past five and a half years has been interesting and exciting, but the opportunity to be part of the senior management team at a great public university is rare,” Appelsmith said. “During the interview process, Chancellor Katehi and UC General Counsel Charles Robinson impressed me with their vision for Davis and the UC system, as did the engaging, talented staff I met on campus and in Oakland.  I am eager to be part of this wonderful school and its mission of teaching, learning, research and public service.”

The chief campus counsel reports jointly to UC Davis Chancellor Katehi and to Charles Robinson, general counsel and vice president legal services at UC Office of the President, located in Oakland, Calif. A professional peer and colleague of the deputy general counsels and other chief campus counsels systemwide, the chief campus counsel serves as a member of the chancellor’s senior management team.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has been one place where people are bettering humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, over 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

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