Catalina Hayes-Bautista, Undersecretary for Environmental Protection
Catalina Hayes-Bautista was appointed Undersecretary at the California Environmental Protection Agency in February 2023. As Undersecretary, Hayes-Bautista oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency and serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary. She has oversight responsibility of the multimillion-dollar Office of the Secretary budget. Hayes-Bautista also provides leadership and support to all of the boards, departments and offices under CalEPA.
Hayes-Bautista most recently served as Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner at the California Department of Insurance, a consumer protection agency regulating the nation’s largest insurance market.
Hayes-Bautista has extensive experience in state government, serving in leadership positions in both the executive and legislative branches of government. In 2017, Hayes-Bautista was appointed Deputy Legislative Affairs Secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on climate and energy policy. Before joining the Governor’s Office, she was appointed Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Secretary at the California Environmental Protection Agency.
Prior to her executive appointments, Hayes-Bautista served as Policy Consultant in the Office of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins in the areas of natural resources and environmental safety and toxic materials and, before that, served as Legislative Director for Senator Ricardo Lara. As a senior staff in the Legislature, Hayes-Bautista spearheaded public policy in various issue areas including education equity and access, environment and regulatory reform, government transparency, health access, public safety, and civil rights. Hayes-Bautista began her career in the State Capitol as a Fellow for the Senator Polanco Fellowship and then as Legislative and Communications Aide to Assemblywoman Fiona Ma.
Prior to working in the State Capitol, Hayes-Bautista worked as Development Assistant and Writing Workshop Facilitator for New American Media (formerly Pacific News Service). She also served as a co-coordinator for the California Council on Youth Relations (CCYR), where she worked on foster youth and juvenile justice policy and gained a passion for public service.
Hayes-Bautista graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Sociology. She lives with her family in Sacramento.