Two Southern California women have been appointed by legislative leaders to serve on the California High-Speed Rail Authority board of directors.
State Senate pro tem Kevin de León and the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday named Lorraine Paskett of Glendale to fill a seat on the board that has been vacant since James Hartnett of Redwood City stepped down in March 2015 to become the general manager of Caltrain, the commuter rail system that serves the San Francisco Peninsula. Paskett is an attorney and CEO of Cambridge LCF Group, consulting on energy, water and environmental issues. She is also a board member of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
On Thursday, the rail agency announced that Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins appointed former Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, to replace authority vice chairwoman Thea Selby. Selby was appointed to the board in March 2014 by then-Assembly Speaker John Pérez.
Lowenthal is a former member of the Long Beach Unified School District board and the Long Beach City Council before she was elected to the state Assembly in 2008. She was chairwoman of the Assembly’s Transportation Committee, and in that role was an ex officio member of the California Transportation Commission. She was term-limited from her Assembly seat in 2014.
The two appointments leave one vacancy on the nine-member board, to be filled by Gov. Jerry Brown. Tom Richards, a Fresno real estate developer who is the rail authority board’s vice chairman, remains the only representative on the board from the San Joaquin Valley.