California’s Economy, the Future of Work and Cradle-to-Career Alignment: A Conversation with Lenny Mendonca
Play • 42 min

Economic development and public policy trailblazer Lenny Mendonca -- who most recently served as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor --  takes us inside the administration’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) and shares insights on a range of vital topics, including: 

  • the shape of California’s economic recovery 
  • the future of work
  • K-12 and higher education alignment
  • school funding
  • the importance of leaders making space to openly discuss mental health, and of course
  • the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on just about everything. 


Lenny Mendonca grew up in Turlock in California’s Central Valley. He received his MBA and certificate in public management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he now serves as a lecturer. He holds an AB, magna cum laude, in economics from Harvard College.

As a senior partner emeritus with the global consulting firm McKinsey and Company, he has worked with public sector, nonprofit and corporate clients, and developed expertise in areas such as globalization, economic development, regulation and education. Lenny has chaired and served on numerous statewide,  national and regional nonprofit boards and coalitions, such as California Forward, New America, Bay Area Council and Children Now (to name just a few) to help advance ambitious budget, education and governance reforms. Soon after being elected in November 2018, Gavin Newsom appointed Lenny as Chief Economic and Business Advisor to the Governor, a position he served in until April of this year, when he stepped down for health reasons. Lenny lives on the Half Moon Bay coast with his wife, Christine. They raised their two daughters, Allie and Rebecca, there and are the founders and owners of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and the Mavericks Beer Company.



“California is a state with radically different economies, radically different industries, radically different challenges. It was true before the environment that we're in today and this pandemic accelerates it: We need to have a closer integration between understanding what the future of work looks like, what jobs will be available and how to ensure that everyone in the state has the educational experience to succeed."


The California Association of School Business Officials is the premier resource for professional development and business best practices for California's school business leaders. CASBO is dedicated to promoting excellence and professionalism in all aspects of school business.Follow at @CASBO


Paul Richman is a public education advocate and consultant. Contact him at Follow at @pjr100

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