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Learn about the Team at California Department of Water Resources Wildfire Fund Revenue Bonds, including our Deputy Director of Business Operations, Manager, California Energy Bond Office, and General Counsel.
Katherine S. Kishaba was appointed Deputy Director of Business Operations in March 2011. Her primary responsibilities include managing the Department's fiscal, information technology, procurement, human resources, facilities, and safety programs. Business Operations consists of approximately 400 employees department-wide.
Prior to assuming her current role, Katherine served as the Department's Budget Officer, beginning in 2003, and was responsible for the development and administration of DWR's multi-billion-dollar budget. Previously, Katherine also oversaw all administrative activities of DWR's Bay-Delta Office and worked in the administrative sections of DWR's former Division of Land and Right of Way and Office of Water Education (now the Public Affairs Office). She participated in the implementation and upgrade of SAP, the Department's enterprise financial system, and more recently managed the design and roll-out of the Department's Enterprise Budget Planning system in 2009.
Katherine holds both a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Davis' Graduate School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jesse Cason is currently the Manager of the California Energy Bond Office for DWR. Mr. Cason manages the Electric Power Fund program (formerly California Energy Resources Scheduling), that was created during the 2000-2001 energy crisis in California and the DWR Wildfire Fund Financing Program, created in 2019 to address utility wildfire risk. After graduating California State University, Sacramento with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2002, Mr. Cason joined DWR as an Electrical Engineer, where he assisted in the development of energy scheduling and settlement systems. In 2007, he joined the Division of Engineering at DWR, where he led a team in designing electrical features of the State Water Project and earned his Professional Engineer license. In 2015, he joined the California Energy Resources Scheduling Division, assisting with managing the $11.2 billion in PSRBs issued in 2002, collections of over $900 million in related annual charges from the IOUs, overseeing regulatory matters with the CPUC, and the wind-down of $43 billion in power contracts and litigation related to the 2000-2001 energy crisis. In 2016, Mr. Cason graduated from California State University, Bakersfield with a M.S. in Administration.
Thomas Gibson was appointed Manager over the Office of the General Counsel in June 2021. He provides legal advice to the Director and Management, and oversees approximately 50 attorneys. The Office of General Counsel is responsible for a broad range of issues, including water rights; water transfers; energy law; flood management; integrated water management; dam safety; personnel; and state contracting.
Thomas was previously Undersecretary, Deputy Secretary and Special Counsel for Water, and General Counsel for the California Natural Resources Agency as well as General Counsel for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Prior to joining the State, he was a Partner at the law firm of Best Best & Krieger LLP and an Associate at the law firms of Hyman Phelps & McNamara P.C. and Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard.
Thomas earned a Juris Doctor degree cum laude from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College.
Meghan Thomas has served as in-house counsel to DWR since July 2020. She advises the California Energy Bond Office (CEBO) on varied and complex legal issues related to the activities of the Wildfire Program. Prior to joining DWR and CEBO, Ms. Thomas was in private practice for 10 years advising public agencies on various energy matters including transmission issues, generator interconnection, project development, and financing and energy contract negotiation and administration. She previously advised DWR in managing its California Energy Resources Scheduling (CERS) portfolio of contracts and State Water Project energy and transmission matters. Ms. Thomas has a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the California State University, Sacramento.
Vinay Narjit Singh Behl has served as the Manager of the Division of Fiscal Services since April 2017 and as such is the Controller and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of DWR. Mr. Behl manages and directs the activities of the Budget Office, General Accounting Branch, SWP Enterprise Cost Analysis and Billing Branch, Financial Reporting and Compliance Branch, Asset Management Office, Administration/Out of State Travel, and Master Data Office.
Prior to joining DWR, Mr. Behl served as CFO of a subsidiary of Guardian Life Insurance Corporation from 2015 through 2017, CFO of an operating division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services from 2010 to 2015, and Vice President of Finance for multinational software companies from 1997 to 2010. Mr. Behl has a Master’s Degree in International Financial Management and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Davis. Mr. Behl is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Delaware and California with various certifications in Accounting, Audit and Finance.
Lisa Toms has served as Manager of the SWP Enterprise Cost Analysis and Billing Branch, within the Division of Fiscal Services, since March 2014. She has over 31 years of financial experience at the Department of Water Resources and has served in many leadership roles within the Division of Fiscal Services.
She oversees the reporting of the California Energy Bond Office's financial records, including the preparation of the quarterly and annual audited financial statements, as well as ensures adequate financing needs are met for the Wildfire Fund Program.
Her institutional knowledge of the Department and many years of Enterprise Fund experience have allowed her to become one of the key financial representatives of the Department.
Lisa received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting, from the California State University, Sacramento.