March 26, 2024


Joyia Emard,, 279-220-3530

California Volunteers Welcomes Jesse Melgar as Commission Vice Chair

Sacramento, Calif. – The California Volunteers Commission elected Jesse Melgar, Senior Advisor for Strategy and Public Affairs at the UC Possibility Lab, to serve as its next Vice Chair.

“Jesse Melgar is a statewide leader who truly embodies the spirit of service and a California for all. Throughout his three years of service on the commission, Jesse has been instrumental in helping California Volunteers launch many of our new programs including #CaliforniansForAll College Corps. The California Volunteers Commission is proud to have Jesse serve as Vice Chair and we look forward to his continued contributions to our state,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. 

Melgar was appointed to the commission by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021 and reappointed in 2023. 

“Under Governor Newsom and Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday’s leadership, California Volunteers and its many programs are literally redefining service in the Golden State,” said Vice Chair Melgar. “Programs like College Corps, Youth Jobs Corps, and Climate Action Corps are not only transforming our communities and the lives of young Californians, they are also being replicated in other states and scaled nationally. It is an honor to be part of this work and a privilege to serve as the next vice chair of the commission.”

Melgar previously served in several positions in the Office of Governor Newsom from 2019 to 2021, including Communications Director, Press Secretary and Deputy Director of Media and Public Affairs. Melgar was Deputy Secretary of State and Chief Communications Officer for then-California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Communications Director for then-State Senator Ricardo Lara and the California Latino Legislative Caucus in the California State Senate. He is also a former Communications Director at Equality California.  

Melgar is a board member of the Inland Empire Community Foundation where he is the founder and chair of the Cultivating Inland Empire Latino Opportunity Fund (CIELO Fund). The CIELO Fund has raised nearly $2 million to support grants, research, scholarships and narrative change campaigns for Latinos in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  

He is currently an advisory board member for the UC Riverside School of Public Policy and Equality California. He previously served on the boards of the HONOR PAC Political Action Committee and Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. 

Lindsay Callahan Fox, CEO of The Sojourner Group, will continue to serve as the commission chair. 

Melgar is preceded in his position as vice chair by Yvette Radford, Regional Vice President for External and Community Affairs at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, who served in the position from 2022 to 2024 and was appointed in 2014.  

The bipartisan California Volunteers Commission supports California Volunteers, Office of the Governor with uniting Californians in service and empowering everyone to take action in their communities. 

The California Volunteers Commission is a 25-member board of commissioners appointed by the Governor. Its role is to carry out the mission and objectives of California Volunteers and fulfill the statutory responsibilities for state commissions under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. 


About California Volunteers, Office of the Governor   
Led by California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor empowers Californians to take action to improve their communities. California Volunteers is the state office tasked with recruiting young Californians to engage in public service.