Appointed September 2023 by Governor Gavin Newsom
Cliff Rechtschaffen was appointed to the California Air Resources Board in September 2023. Rechtschaffen served as a Commissioner on the California Public Utilities Commission from 2017 through December 2022. There he was the lead commissioner on several key decarbonization and safety proceedings, and instrumental in the adoption and implementation of the Commission’s Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan. He also served as a Senior Advisor on Climate and Energy in the Office of Governor Jerry Brown from 2011 to 2017. Rechtschaffen was Acting Director of the California Department of Conservation in 2011 and served as Special Assistant Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Office from 2007 to 2010. Rechtschaffen was a Professor, Director of the Environmental Law Program, and Co-Founder of the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law from 1993 to 2007. He served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Environment Section of the California Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Office from 1986 to 1993. He was a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyering Fellow at the Marin Legal Aid Society from 1985 to 1986, and a law clerk to US District Court Judge Thelton Henderson in San Francisco from 1984 to 1985. He has authored or co-authored several books and numerous articles on environmental law and policy, including casebooks on environmental justice and environmental enforcement, and a guide to common law remedies for protecting the environment. Rechtschaffen earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Princeton University. He lives in Oakland and is an avid cyclist and devoted Golden State Warriors fan.