Sandoval Announces Staff Changes

Builds on Legislative Success with New Team for the New Nevada


Mari St. Martin
Communications Director
(775) 684-5670
Carson City, NV - August 20, 2015

Governor Brian Sandoval today announced changes to his staff in his Carson City office.

“By changing our approach to economic development and modernizing our education system we have laid the cornerstones of the foundation for the new Nevada. In order to take the next step toward creating a Nevada with a world-class education system, workforce development training to complement our diversified economy, and an infrastructure that keeps up with a growing population we must continue to build upon our momentum. I am not done working for all Nevadans and have brought on some of the best and brightest leaders from our communities to help expand my vision and embrace the potentials that the 21st century presents,” said Governor Brian Sandoval.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga has been named Chief Strategy Officer, a newly created position in the Office of the Governor. Pam Robinson will also join Sandoval’s staff as Policy Director. Additionally, current Deputy Chief Counsel Joe Reynolds has been named General Counsel and Cesar Melgarejo has been hired as the Governor’s Veterans Policy Analyst. Mike Willden will continue to serve as the Governor’s Chief of Staff.

In this new capacity, Erquiaga will work directly as the liaison to education and workforce development agencies as they implement new programs and legislation passed during the 78th Legislative Session. Erquiaga will also begin the necessary planning and preparation as Sandoval expands his vision of the new Nevada across all state agencies.

“Dale was the architect behind the sweeping effort to modernize and reform Nevada’s public education system. Dale will continue to lead the efforts of my office to ensure that these historic initiatives are carried out successfully,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “Moving Nevada’s top education officer into this expanded role will guarantee that strengthening Nevada’s education system remains a top priority in my administration. Furthermore, it will reinforce the bond between our system of education and future priorities which will include building an elite system of higher education and customizing our workforce development efforts to meet the needs of our economic development successes.”

Deputy Superintendent Steve Canavero will serve as Interim-Director State Superintendent after Erquiaga joins the Governor’s staff. Sandoval also announced he intends to appoint Erquiaga to chair the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission for K-12 public education created by Assembly Bill 421 of the 2015 session.

Pam Robinson will serve as the Governor’s Policy Director. In this role, Robinson will carry strategy into statewide policy and will have direct responsibility for federal government relations and natural resource issues.

“I have known Pam for many years and worked closely with her during Nevada’s successful Sesquicentennial celebration,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “Pam will bring experience and valuable knowledge to our office and I am pleased she has agreed to join my administration in this capacity.”

Pam Robinson is currently serving as the Governor’s Drought Summit Coordinator where she has been tasked with managing the upcoming Summit as required by the Governor’s Drought Executive Order. Robinson previously served as the Chief of Staff for Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki which included the overall management of Nevada’s Sesquicentennial celebration. In addition to her state service, Pam has extensive federal experience having held positions in the offices of United States Senators Dean Heller and John Ensign and Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich. She was the Congressional liaison for the U.S. Forest Service and has coordinated several Lake Tahoe Summits during her career.

Joe Reynolds, who has served as the Governor’s Deputy Chief Counsel, has been named General Counsel. In addition to his role as the Governor’s legal advisor, Reynolds will manage public safety, military and regulatory agencies.

“Joe is a fantastic and bright lawyer who has a deep understanding of Nevada law. I appreciate his willingness to step into this expanded role and look forward to his continued counsel,” said Governor Brian Sandoval.

Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Reynolds was the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Bureau of Litigation, Public Safety Division of the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, where he advised numerous agencies, supervised a team of civil litigators, and represented the State of Nevada and its officers at all levels of complex state and federal litigation. Reynolds previously served as Senior Deputy District Attorney for the Lyon County District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted felony and misdemeanor crimes, conducted jury trials, and handled all appellate and writ matters. Reynolds has successfully briefed and argued cases before the Nevada Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Sandoval has also announced Cesar Melgarejo as his Veterans Policy Analyst. Melgarejo joins the office from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and will replace Caleb Cage who has been named the Governor’s Advisor on Homeland Security and Chief of the Division of Emergency Management.

“Cesar is active in Nevada’s military and veteran community and will be a great addition to our team. He shares the vision to make Nevada the most military- and veteran-friendly state in the nation and together we will ensure those who have answered the call to serve and defend our nation remain a top priority in my administration,” said Governor Brian Sandoval.

Prior to joining the Governor’s staff, Melgarejo served as a Program Administrator with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). He previously worked as an Outreach Specialist with the local VA Hospital, where he provided transition assistance services and outreach services to veterans, active military, reserve, and National Guard members. Melgarejo is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Melgarejo graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and is currently a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Public Administration.


Office of the Governor
 . 101 North Carson Street . Carson City, NV 89701 . (775) 684-5670 
Grant Sawyer State Office Building . 555 East Washington, Suite 5100 . Las Vegas, NV 89101 . (702) 486-2500