Meet Our Leadership Team

Modernizing the DMV customer experience

Photo: Steve Gordon, Director

Steve Gordon was appointed Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles by Governor Gavin Newsom in July 2019.

Steve comes from the private sector with experience in the high-tech and life sciences markets. He has spent most of his career leading various global services businesses at Cisco Systems and global business services at Becton, Dickinson and Company.

He has a BA in Business Administration from California State University, Stanislaus.

Photo: Ed Swenson, Chief Deputy Director

Edward D. Swenson was appointed Chief Deputy Director in June 2023, after serving as DMV Assistant Chief Deputy Director. In his role, Ed acts as Chief Operating Officer, and directly manages Administration, Investigations and Legal Affairs, while ensuring effective delivery of services to customers through various DMV service channels.

Ed was Senior Director of Global Services Logistics Planning at Cisco, overseeing its Global Customer Experience leadership team. During his more than 30-year career in the technology and utilities industry, Ed has held positions in engineering, software development, customer assurance, product security incident response (PSIRT), and business development.

Ed earned Master of Science degrees in Management and Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Photo: Christina Spagnoli, Assistant Chief Deputy Director

Christina Spagnoli was appointed Assistant Chief Deputy Director in February 2024. She oversees department governance, process improvement, performance management, organizational change management, and risk management, while ensuring organizational efficiencies.

Christina brings more than 17 years of experience to the DMV working in politics, policy, and the public sector. Before joining the DMV team, Christina served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary and as Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs, at the Government Operations Agency.

Christina earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Sacramento State University and is alumni of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy and Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship.

Photo: Ajay Gupta
Chief Digital Transformation Officer

Ajay Gupta was appointed Chief Digital Transformation Officer in February 2020. He leads business and technology transformation efforts to assist the DMV in becoming a modern enterprise. Ajay served as a special advisor to the DMV director prior to the Governor’s appointment.

Before joining state service, Ajay worked as a managing director at one of the Big 4 global professional service firms, where he led the delivery of legacy transformation, technology innovation, and managed services for State departments nationally. Ajay brings more than 27 years of public sector experience to the DMV.

Ajay has a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and an MBA in Marketing and Information Technology from UC Davis and is certified in Project Management from PMI, NIST Cyber Security, Open Group Architecture Framework and several Cloud platforms.

Photo: Juan Cornejo, Deputy Director / Chief Counsel, Legal Affairs

Juan Cornejo was appointed Chief Counsel and Deputy Director of the Legal Affairs Division in July 2021. He oversees the Legal and Driver Safety Branches.

Previously, Juan served as Assistant General Counsel at The McClatchy Company. He also was Legal Counsel at DHL and General Counsel at Design Hotels.

Juan earned his Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley Law School.

Photo: Robert Crockett, Deputy Director, Administrative Services

Robert Crockett was appointed as the department’s Administrative Services Deputy Director in June 2018. He oversees seven branches with about 500 team members who are responsible for administrative support, business management, departmental training, financial services, budgets, facilities, and human resources.

Robert served as an Accounting Technician at the Department of Food and Agriculture before joining the DMV, where he has held a variety of positions within the accounting office. He was an Accountant Trainee, Accounting Officer Supervisor, and Staff Administrative Analyst of Accounting Systems. He also worked as the Assistant Division Chief/Program Manager in charge of the Business Partner Automation Program and Registration Automation Development, and then as the department’s Budget Officer.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting, from California State University, Sacramento.

Photo: Lance Everett, Chief Data Officer

Lance Everett joined the DMV as its first Chief Data Officer in 2020. He oversees the enterprise data and analytics strategy, while managing the Research and Development Branch.

Lance is an innovative leader, who brings data and analytics strategies from a diverse set of industries, with decades of experience in data governance, data integrity, master data management, and health information management, implementing data management strategies with care to improve access, program interoperability, and promote data-driven decision.

Lance holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of California, Davis.

Photo: Anita Gore, Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs

Anita Gore was appointed DMV Deputy Director of Communications by Governor Newsom in July 2019 and is responsible for external and internal communications.

She has worked as Deputy Director of Public Affairs at several California State agencies that include Public Health, Board of Equalization, Department of Finance, Employment Development Department and Health and Human Services Agency. Anita has also worked for the state legislature and in the Governor’s Press Office.

Anita holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Sacramento State University.

Photo: Sonia Huestis, Deputy Director, Customer Services

Sonia Huestis was appointed Deputy Director of the Customer Services Division in February 2018, after serving as the division’s Acting Deputy Director, since October 2016. She is oversees the department’s contact centers and customer experience program.

Sonia joined the DMV in July 2016 as Assistant Chief Deputy Director. Previously, she was Deputy Appointment Secretary at the Governor’s Office.

Huestis holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento.

Photo: Christina Michel, Deputy Director, Investigations

Christina Michel leads the DMV Investigations Division, which conducts complex criminal, administrative, and civil investigations involving identity theft, financial and employee fraud, document counterfeiting, and illegal odometer and vehicle identification alterations. In her role, she spearheads modernization efforts and established a groundbreaking Data Forensics Unit.

Christina was appointed deputy director in September 2021, after serving as the division Area Commander of the Northern Special Operations in which she supervised the Internal Affairs-north office and Investigative Analysis and Protected Records unit. She has been with the DMV since 2006.

Her career spans more than three decades, starting as a U.S. Marine, transitioning to a 7-year tenure at Pepsi Cola, then joining the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in 2002.

Christina holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from National University.

Photo: Prashant Mittal, Deputy Director / CIO, Information Systems

Prashant Mittal was appointed Chief Information Officer in April 2022. He oversees a dynamic team of technology professionals and provides strategic leadership and direction across diverse domains that include Enterprise Applications, Technology Infrastructure, Information Security, Enterprise Modernization, IT Governance, and Project Management & Oversight.

Prashant offers the DMV 25 years of seasoned senior-level leadership experience combined with extensive technical knowledge in managing and delivering enterprise technology solutions to meet evolving business needs across various business verticals, such as healthcare, gaming, finance, pension, point-of-sale, and services in both public and private sectors.

Before joining the DMV, Prashant worked at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and held various positions, including Director of the Pension Solution Project and the Director of Enterprise IT Solutions and Innovations.

Prashant holds a Masters in Computer Applications and a Bachelor of Science in Physics, Mathematics, and Statistics.

Photo: Coleen Solomon, Deputy Director, Field Operations

Coleen Solomon was appointed Field Operations Deputy Director in December 2018 and is responsible for the overall leadership and management of DMV offices statewide, including the development and implementation of policies and procedures to support mission critical programs of vehicle registration, driver’s licensing and other related public services.

Coleen was a Criminal Identification Specialist at the Department of Justice, before joining the DMV as a Driver Safety Hearing Officer. She held several leadership positions during her 16-year tenure with the Driver Safety Branch before becoming Chief of the Driver Licensing Branch, then Assistant Deputy Director for the Field Operations Division.

Coleen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento, and a Master of Science in Human Relations and Business from Amberton University.

Photo: Bernard Soriano, Deputy Director, Policy

Bernard Soriano has been Policy Deputy Director since August 2019 and is responsible for DMV programs that include vehicle registration and titling, driver’s licensing, motor carrier permitting, identification cards, clean air decals, license plates, Real ID, motor voter, and autonomous vehicles.

Before joining the department, Bernard served as the CIO for the California Secretary of State and CalFire. He also held technical and management positions at Hughes Space & Communications (now Boeing), where he worked on satellite control systems and launch missions.

Bernard has a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California, a Masters of Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

Bernard was a U.S. Navy Reserve Lieutenant and a finalist in NASA’s astronaut program.

Photo: Barry Steinhart, Deputy Director, Legislative Affairs

Barry Steinhart was appointed Deputy Director of Legislation by Governor Gavin Newsom in March 2021. He serves as the DMV liaison with the California State Legislature and oversees a team of analysts and constituent services staff who evaluate potential state policy changes and respond to inquiries from the Legislature about DMV programs and services.

Prior to joining the DMV, Barry served as Assistant Executive Director at the California Energy Commission. He was also Principal Consultant in the Office of California State Senator Mark Leno, and Principal Assistant in the Office of California State Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Sally J. Lieber.

Barry holds Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Michigan.

Photo: Serenity Thompson, Deputy Director, Digital Services

Serenity Thompson was appointed Deputy Director of Digital Services by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2021. She oversees new and existing digital service delivery to consumer, commercial, and government audiences, as well as digitization of DMV internal processes.

Serenity joins the DMV with 20 years of private sector experience in high-tech, loyalty, and ecommerce. She brings expertise in product development, go-to-market strategy, and campaign marketing at Fortune 500, Global 2000, and IPO-ready startups, including experience in Public Sector, Latin America, and Asia Pacific markets.

Serenity holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and holds several certifications.

Photo: Trina Washington, Deputy Director, Operations

Trina Washington was appointed Deputy Director of Operations in July 2022. She leads the department’s back office operational areas that include driver licensing and vehicle registration processing, mail operations, and document services. Her team also serves industry customers.

Trina held several leadership positions before serving as a regional administrator, leading teams at several DMV offices in the greater Sacramento area. She served as Deputy Director of Licensing from January 2021 to July 2022.