Governor Cabinet Members

Jim Wells

Mr. Wells served as Director of Administration for Governor Sandoval from March 2, 2015 to June 30, 2015 where he oversaw the State budget as well as the management of the human resources, grant management, information technology, purchasing, risk management, public works, buildings and grounds, internal audit, hearings and appeals, victims of crimes and library and archives divisions. The legislatively approved split of the Governor’s Finance Office, consisting of the budget and internal audit divisions, from the Department of Administration was effective July 1, 2015.

Prior to his appointment as Director of Administration, Mr. Wells served as Executive Officer for the State’s Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEPB) for over four years managing the health care benefits for over 65,000 employees, retirees and dependents. Mr. Wells also previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Administration and Finance for the Nevada Department of Education, the Chief Financial Officer for PEBP and the Chief Deputy State Controller. Mr. Wells has over 23 years of governmental accounting experience serving in various capacities with the State of Nevada, the University of Nevada, Reno and the city of Roanoke, Virginia.

Mr. Wells received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Nevada.

Patrick Cates

Patrick Cates was appointed as the Director of the Nevada Department of Administration (D of A) by Governor Brian Sandoval, effective September 14, 2015.

In Patrick’s capacity as D of A Director, he oversees 9 Divisions, 2 Offices, 577 employees, and an annual operating budget of nearly $300 million. The Divisions under Patrick’s direction include: Administrative Services; Enterprise IT Services; Fleet Services; Hearings and Appeals; Human Resource Management; Public Works; Purchasing; Risk Management; and State Library, Archives and Public Records. In addition, the Offices Patrick oversees include the D of A Director’s Office, and the Office of Grant Procurement, Coordination and Management.

Before accepting the position of D of A Director, Patrick served as Deputy Director of the Department of Wildlife for six years and managed administration and support functions to include budgeting, contracting, grants management, facilities management, information technology, engineering, personnel, and operations. Patrick has extensive experience working for the State of Nevada including the Departments of Cultural Affairs, Health and Human Services, Administration and Motor Vehicles. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Jim Barbee

Jim Barbee has worked on policy issues with both the Nevada State Board of Education and the Nevada Legislature. Barbee has served on the National Future Farmers of American Board of Directors and on the Future Farmers of America Foundation Board of Trustees. He has been a teacher and will receive his certificate as a Certified Public Manager (CPM) this month. Barbee has managed millions in grant monies and currently manages three budgets. He has a Masters of Agriculture Science, Agriculture Education from Cal Poly SLO and a Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from CSU Chico.

Bradley Crowell

Bradley Crowell was appointed as the Director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by Governor Brian Sandoval in December 2016. A native of Carson City, Nevada, Crowell has nearly 20 years of experience in energy and environmental policy at the state and federal level. His professional experience includes working for multiple Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, including former Nevada Governor and U.S. Senator Richard Bryan; and for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington D.C., and most recently serving as Assistant Secretary for Congressional, Intergovernmental, and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy.

James Dzurenda

James Dzurenda brings nearly three decades of corrections experience including service with the State of Connecticut Department of Correction and New York City Department of Correction. Dzurenda started his career as a correctional officer in Connecticut where we worked his way up and held several positions including Correctional Warden, South District Administrator, Deputy Commissioner and ultimately Commissioner. As Commissioner, he managed all custody and operations for the state’s incarcerated population which included 18 facilities and 7,000 staff members. He also supervised business management, policy development and the department’s legislative agenda. Dzurenda ensured the safe and secure supervision of more than 19,000 inmates and more than $350 million in state appropriated funding. As First Deputy Commissioner in New York, Dzurenda managed operations of the nine city jail facilities which included 14,000 staff, 9,000 inmates and a $2.75 billion budget. This experience included oversight of procedures addressing mental health, court appearances and programs addressing homelessness. James Dzurenda received a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

David Peterson

Interim Director
David Peterson is the Interim Director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (NDTCA). Since joining the Nevada Division of Tourism back in 2001 David has held various positions. Serving as Director of Research he built the agency’s first research program, to the Chief Operations and Finance Officer for DTCA, establishing the department’s first policies and procedures. He was named Deputy Director for DTCA in January 2017 which required him to coordinate the activities between the various agencies with DTCA as well as other State agencies in Nevada. Prior to joining the Division of Tourism, David was the Financial Analysis Manager, Northern Nevada, for Park Place Entertainment’s Caesars Tahoe, Reno Hilton and Flamingo Hilton properties. He graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, with a Bachelor of Arts in International Management and Spanish. David is also a Nevada Certified Public Manager. He has served as a board member of the Greater Western Chapter of Travel and Tourism Research Association (GWTTRA) as well as the State Employee Benefits Advisory Committee and the National Council of State Tourism Directors Research Task Force Committee. David is an avid skier, hiker and mountain biker who loves exploring everything that Nevada has to offer with his lovely wife Kelly and their three children.

Steve Canavero

Superintendent of Public Instruction
Steve Canavero, Ph.D. was previously tapped by Sandoval as the Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Nevada Department of Education (NDE), effective September 4, 2015. Prior to that, Canavero served as the Deputy Superintendent of Student Achievement at NDE and was previously the first Director of the newly created State Public Charter School Authority. Steve brings years of experience working in public education at the state and local level. He has a background in evaluation and planning and worked as a teacher and principal. A graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Ecology and Systematic Biology, Steve earned his M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno. Steve lives in Reno with his wife and two daughters.

Don Soderberg, Director

Soderberg previously served as the Industrial Relations Administrator, an appointed position within the Department of Business and Industry. He has more than 25 years of legal and regulatory experience which includes eight years as the Chairman of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. He also served terms as Commissioner on the Public Utilities Commission and Nevada Transportation Services Authority.  Soderberg was the the Vice President of Risk Management and Corporate Compliance at Southwest Gas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a juris doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law

Angela Dykema

Ms. Dykema was appointed Director of the Nevada Governor's Office of Energy by Governor Brian Sandoval in September 2015, after having served as the office's Deputy Director. Prior to her service at the Governor's Office of Energy, Ms. Dykema worked as Business Development Manager at Ormat Technologies, Inc., a global leader in the geothermal industry, where she managed project development including transmission and interconnection processes, power purchase agreements, bid management, new prospects and federal, state, and local permitting. Ms. Dykema earned a Master of Science in Natural Resources Law Studies from University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Political Science from Michigan State University.

Richard Whitley


Richard Whitley began state service as the senior psychologist for the Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility in 1986. Richard joined the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in 1997 within the Health Division’s Bureau of Disease Control and Intervention Services. Richard held several positions within the Health Division before being asked to serve as its Administrator in 2008 by the Governor’s current Chief of Staff and former DHHS Director, Mike Willden. Richard’s responsibilities expanded in 2012 when he was asked to also serve as Administrator for the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services. The two Divisions officially merged in 2013, and Richard became the first Administrator of the newly created Division of Public and Behavioral Health. 

As DHHS Director, Richard oversees the Public Defender’s office and five Divisions which provide both direct services and public assistance programs for Nevadans in need. The Divisions include: Aging and Disability Services, Child and Family Services, Health Care Financing and Policy (aka Medicaid), Public and Behavioral Health, and Welfare and Supportive Services. In total, Richard is responsible for over 5,400 employees and an annual operating budget of over $7.4 billion - nearly one third the entire state budget. While serving as Director, Richard will maintain his responsibilities as Administrator of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

Richard holds a Bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, Oregon, and a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology, from Western Oregon University.

Sherry L. Rupert

Sherry Rupert is Executive Director of the Nevada Indian Commission, appointed by Governor Kenny Guinn in 2005. Rupert was sworn in by Governor Brian Sandoval as the first American Indian woman appointed to his Cabinet. With more than 20 years of tribal and business experience, she has a background in a finance, tourism and Indian Affairs.

Rupert is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, and is past president of the Native American Chapter of the University’s Alumni Association. She has also served as president of the Governors’ Interstate Indian Council and as president of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association.

Rupert was named to the prestigious U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and is a board member of the Stewart Indian School Preservation Alliance.

In 2011 Rupert was awarded the Statewide Excellence in Tourism Award from the Nevada Commission on Tourism for her success in promoting and advancing tourism in Indian Country. She also received the 2009 Human and Civil Rights Award from the Nevada State Education Association for her work in the advancement of Indian education.

Mark Hutchison

Lt. Governor
As Lieutenant Governor, Mark serves as President of the State Senate. He is also the Chairman of the Commission on Tourism, Vice-Chairman of the State Board of Transportation, a member of the Board of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and a member of the Executive Branch Audit Committee. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the National Aerospace States Association.

Terri Albertson

Terri Albertson has more than 30 years in administrative and managerial leadership which includes almost 10 years at the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Prior to serving as the Director, Albertson served as the Vehicle Programs Manager and Administrator for the Management Services and Programs Division. Director Albertson earned her Associates Degree from Reedley College and a Bachelor of Arts from Fresno Pacific University. She is also a Certified Public Manager from the State of Nevada and is a graduate of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrator Leadership Academy.

William Burks

Brigadier General
Brigadier General William R. Burks is the Adjutant General for the State of Nevada. As Adjutant General, he is the senior uniformed Nevada National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than 4,000 Nevada Army and Air National Guard personnel. Appointed by the Governor, State of Nevada, General Burks serves as the Governor’s principal adviser on all National Guard issues, is responsible for both the federal and state missions of the Nevada National Guard, and serves as the official channel of communication with the National Guard Bureau, Department of the Army, and Department of the Air Force.

Jim Wright

Jim has served as Deputy Director of the Department since July 2011. From February 2011 through October 2011, Wright served as Interim Chief of the Nevada Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. From August of 2006 through July of 2011, Wright served as Chief of the Nevada State Fire Marshal Division.

William (Bill) Anderson

Bill was appointed as the Executive Director of the Department of Taxation in early 2018. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Economist for the State Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation since 2006 where he provided economic and labor market analyses and commentaries to assist public and private decision makers. Before his tenure with DETR, Bill worked as an economist with the state budget office for 10 years. He has more than 35 years of experience as an economist and statistician, including time with the City of Milwaukee, Pennsylvania State University, Indiana Department of Commerce, and the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. Bill earned a master’s degree in economics from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Michigan.

Kat Miller

Colonel (U.S. Army, Retired) Katherine Miller was raised in Reno and served 34 years in the United States Army. Starting as an enlisted soldier, she culminated her military service with assignments as a military police brigade commander serving in the United States and in Afghanistan; and as the Commander of the Department of Defense’s largest correctional organization. After retiring she taught college at the University of Maryland and the University of Nevada, Reno. She served as the Deputy Director for the Nevada Office of Veterans Services prior to accepting appointment as the Executive Director.

Tony Wasley


Wasley, who has worked for NDOW for the last 16 years, is a graduate of California State University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Wildlife Management. Wasley earned his M.S. at Idaho State University in Biology. During his time at the Department, Tony has managed statewide game programs, worked as an area biologist, and participated in research, restoration, enhancement and protection projects for species such as the sage-grouse, mule deer, elk and bighorn sheep. He is a member of The Wildlife Society, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited.

Wasley has been a guest lecturer at University of Nevada, Reno and Great Basin College in Elko, covering a wide range of natural resource topics including wildlife ecology, geographic information systems, and population genetics. Over the past 22 years, he has conducted and assisted with research in Nevada, Alaska, California, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, Kansas and Arizona. He has had works published in the Journal of Mammalogy and made numerous presentations at Annual Conferences of the Wildlife Society.

Rudy Malfabon

Rudy Malfabon has worked for the Nevada Department of Transportation for more than 25 years. As director, he is responsible for the daily operations of the department that has an annual operating budget of over $800 million and close to 1,750 employees.

Mr. Malfabon began his career at NDOT in 1984 as an inspector on the Flamingo Road interchange at Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. As an assistant resident engineer, he was the sole representative of NDOT on privately-funded projects at the Colorado River Bridge in Laughlin and the Summerlin Parkway interchange at U.S. 95 in Las Vegas. After earning his professional engineering license, Mr. Malfabon became a resident engineer and managed the construction of several interchanges and grade separations on U.S. 95 in northwest Las Vegas. Nearly half of Mr. Malfabon’s NDOT career was spent in Carson City, where he held the titles of assistant and chief construction engineer.

In 1998, he accepted the position of state construction engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. Mr. Malfabon was then recruited by Jacobs Engineering in Las Vegas in 2000, where he worked for three years as manager of Jacobs’ construction management services in Nevada. After being away from NDOT for nearly five years, Mr. Malfabon returned on July 7, 2003 when he was appointed to the position of deputy director for Southern Nevada, a position approved by the Nevada Legislature in mid-2003 to provide a director’s office presence in Las Vegas.

As NDOT director, Mr. Malfabon seeks to further enhance communication, coordination and customer service with local agency partners, elected officials, contractors and the general public to prioritize transportation funding needs, projects and activities across the state.