Elisabeth Kersten

BSCG Affiliate

Expertise: State Government, Budget & Taxation

Experience: Director, Senate Office of Research; Deputy Chief of Staff, Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr.; Deputy Director, Department of Consumer Affairs; Deputy Director, Department of Employment Development

Education: MPP, BA in English and Economics, University of California Berkeley

Elisabeth Kersten is a Blue Sky Consulting Group Affiliate and the former director of the Senate Office of Research, a position she held for 20 years. The Senate Office of Research is a bipartisan think tank developing policy and preparing studies for the 40 members of the California State Senate. In addition, the office assists the Senate Rules committee in background investigations into gubernatorial appointees subject to Senate confirmation. She served under three Pro Tems and supervised a staff of up to 35 professionals. Prior to joining the Senate Office of Research she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr., consultant to the fiscal committees in the Senate and Assembly and deputy director in two executive agencies, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Employment Development.

She studied at UC Berkeley, receiving undergraduate degrees in English and Economics and a Master's Degree from the School of Public Policy. This year she was recognized as the Alumna of the Year from her graduate school and also was awarded Outstanding Public Administrator by the American Society for Public Administration., ASPA.

She recently retired from the Senate Office of Research and currently volunteers on a number of nonprofit boards in the areas of civic education, youth development and international environmental policy. She also serves as chair of the Policy and Public Administration Advisory Committee at California State University Sacramento, an adjunct advisor with the UC Davis Masters' program in Community Development and a member of the USC Sacramento Center Advisory Committee. She is married to Michael Kersten, Division Chief in the Office of Legislative Counsel and has three adult children.