The Bay Area Council today (Jan. 5) heartily applauded the appointment of its former chair, Lenny Mendonca, to serve as Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom’s chief economic and business advisor. Mendonca also served as chair of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the Council’s think tank.

“Gov.-elect Newsom has chosen wisely,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “Lenny’s depth and breadth of understanding and knowledge about California’s economy is unparalleled. On housing, early education, higher education and so many other issues, Lenny knows what makes the state’s innovation economy tick. He is thoughtful, strategic and decisive, and he is widely respected by business leaders across California. Lenny also brings incredible international experience and knowledge that will be important in helping California compete globally. His steady hand will be invaluable for Gov.-elect Newsom as he confronts growing pressures and stresses on California’s economy.”

“What really makes Lenny stand out is that he is widely respected across a number of different communities in the state,” said Micah Weinberg, President of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “He has been one of the state’s most important business leaders for decades but he’s also deeply committed to addressing issues of poverty and economic mobility. Most of his professional career has been in the Bay Area but he grew up on a farm in the Salinas Valley and his work with statewide organizations has been especially focused on elevating the areas outside of the cities on the coast.”

Mendonca had a distinguished career at Council member McKinsey & Co., where he continues to serve as senior partner emeritus from the global consulting firm’s Washington, D.C. and San Francisco offices. He founded McKinsey’s U.S. state and local public sector practice. For many years Lenny led McKinsey’s knowledge development efforts overseeing the McKinsey Global Institute and the firm’s communications, including the McKinsey Quarterly. Among his many board positions, Mendonca serves on the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees.