The IGS National Advisory Council is responsible for providing guidance and direction to advance the Institute's development and outreach efforts. Membership is composed of distinguished individuals representing the corporate, philanthropy, non-profit, professional, and academic sectors that are affiliated with the IGS mission.

Joe Garrett

Garrett & McAuley

Joe Garrett grew up just a few blocks from the Berkeley campus, and Strawberry Creek was his and his friends’ playground in the 1950’s.  He graduated from Cal in 1970, got a Masters in Political Science from the University of Washington, and returned to Cal for his MBA in 1976. His career was buying failed...

Peter D. Hart

Hart Research

For more than 35 years, Peter Hart has been one of the leading analysts of public opinion in the United States. Since 1971, he has directed Peter D. Hart Research Associates, which has conducted more than 6000 public opinion surveys that have included interviews among more than five million individuals. Hart Research also has undertaken...

Tom MacBride (Chair)

Of Counsel
Downey Brand LLP

Tom MacBride is Of Counsel at Downey Brand LLP after 35 years as a partner at Goodin, MacBride, Squeri & Day LLP in San Francisco. He continues to  specialize in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). He served as President of the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel (CCPUC) in 1997-98, a position...

Katie Merrill


Katie Merrill is one of California’s most successful female and LGBT campaign managers and statewide consultants. She is a partner in the nationally-recognized political consulting, direct mail, and media firm, BaughmanMerrill, which is based in San Francisco.

Over the course of her career, Katie has advised and run over a dozen statewide initiative and candidate campaigns...

Matt Middlebrook

Head of Policy and Government Affairs - California, Hawaii, Alaska

Matt Middlebrook is Head of Policy and Government Affairs (California, Hawaii, Alaska) for Airbnb.  A recognized leader in government affairs, public policy, and strategic communications, Matt Middlebrook’s background reflects his ability to bring people together - even those with competing agendas to gain buy-in for the adoption of new ideas. Over his career, Mr. Middlebrook...

Laiza Negrete

PAC Director
California Association of REALTORS

Laiza Negrete currently serves as the PAC Director with the California Association of REALTORS® handling the political resources for one of the top trade associations in the state. Before joining CRE-PAC, Laiza worked for the New York State Assembly and the Council of State Governments, Western Office. Laiza has been selected for CalNewsroom's list of...

Chris Patterson

State Government Relations
Pacific Gas & Electric

Over the last decade, Chris Patterson has been at the forefront of California’s policy and political arenas in a variety of capacities.

Since 2018, Chris has led State Government Relations for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), where he has been responsible for legislative and public affairs efforts on state energy and economic policies, as well...

Heather Podesta

Founder and CEO

Heather Podesta guides a bipartisan team as the founder and CEO of Invariant.  Now in its fourteenth year, Invariant is considered one of the nation’s top government relations firms.  Known for her political savvy, substantive policy chops, and commonsense approach, Heather translates Washington for business and business for Washington.  Her work is highlighted in many...

Jon Ross

KP Public Affairs

Jon Ross is a partner at KP Public Affairs. He joined the firm in 1996. He is a registered lobbyist and lawyer. He has specific expertise in financial services law and regulation, and has played a leading role in managing the financial services industry's response to a number of critical issues, including legislative efforts to...

Alan Unger


Alan Unger has over 40 years of experience working with public and private sector organizations – both domestic and international – managing projects and providing strategic planning and guidance in the areas of public policy, marketing and communications. He worked with a number of California public affairs and governmental organizations including the Canadian Foreign Ministry’s...