Print Version (PDF)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2019
SOS Press Office
SACRAMENTO, CA – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the hiring of Robert Abelon as Deputy Secretary of State for Policy and Planning, filling a vacancy created when James Schwab was appointed Chief Deputy. Abelon will oversee the Secretary of State’s continued implementation of the Voter’s Choice Act.
“Robert has proven his ability to navigate state government and the California political landscape over the course of his career,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “His leadership and organizational savvy will be crucial as our office continues to successfully implement the Voter’s Choice Act in at least four new counties.”
Abelon most recently served as Political Director for the Becerra for Attorney General 2018 campaign. Over the course of four years he served in the State Legislature as District Director for Senator Dr. Richard Pan and Assemblymember Jim Cooper. Following his time working in the Legislature, Abelon was Senior Vice President of the Sacramento Region Business Association, a regional trade association where he oversaw public policy operations for the local industry sectors of restaurants, building & construction, and finance in the Sacramento area. In 2010, Abelon served as campaign operations director for Tom Torlakson’s Superintendent of Public Instruction race. Prior to the 2010 election cycle he was a programs specialist for Capitol Impact, a state and regional policy consulting firm based in Sacramento, where he implemented grant funded programs in higher education and healthcare.
Abelon also has extensive natural disaster response experience, having been deployed as a supervisor for shelter operations and government relations by the American Red Cross to five hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, including Hurricane Katrina, and five wildfires in Colorado and California, including the Camp Fire.
A son of Filipino immigrants, Abelon began his involvement in civic engagement as a junior in high school when he was selected to the House of Representatives Congressional Page program at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.