Los Angeles – Javiera Cartagena has been appointed Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization.
Cartagena has played a prominent role in SCAG’s legislative and external affairs since 2015, first as a Regional Affairs Officer liaising with elected officials and stakeholders in Los Angeles County before being promoted to Manager of Regional Services. She has been serving as Acting Director of Government and Public Affairs since April.
In this role, Cartagena will work closely with SCAG’s Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and Regional Council to lead engagement initiatives and meet the strategic goals of an agency that represents six counties, 191 cities and more than 19 million residents.
She is the chief spokesperson over legislative and public affairs matters and manages three departments: Media and Public Affairs, Government Relations, and Legislation.
Her appointment followed an extensive search.
“The times we live in present unprecedented challenges for local and regional governments, and we’re fortunate to have someone with Javiera’s talent and experience on our Executive Team,” said Kome Ajise, Executive Director of SCAG. “Her education and experience in government affairs, as well as in strategic community outreach, make her an ideal fit as SCAG addresses the challenges and opportunities of our great SCAG region.”
Prior to joining SCAG, Cartagena served as District Director in the office of Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva and as the Senior Field Representative for the Office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
Cartagena graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish, and a minor in Legal Studies.