Auburn , CA 95603
Jim Branham has spent more than 30 years working on natural resource and rural community issues in California. He was selected as the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s first Executive Officer by the Conservancy Board in October of 2005. As Executive Officer, Jim is responsible for day to day management of the organization and works closely with the Board of Directors in developing policy and program priorities.
Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Undersecretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency from November 2003 through October 2005. There he assisted the Secretary in shaping and implementing Governor Schwarzenegger’s environmental policy, coordinating activities of six boards and departments in the agency.
He began his career as an aide to State Senator Jim Nielsen from 1978 through 1991. As Nielsen’s Chief of Staff, he directed the Senator’s staff, and interacted with the Governor’s office, other legislative leadership staff, and various constituent groups.
From April 1991 through 1998 Jim served in a number of positions under Governor Pete Wilson:
He served as Chief Deputy Director and Deputy Director at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection where he provided policy and operational direction in the department of more than 2,500 employees. He also served as Undersecretary and Deputy Secretary of the California Resources Agency assisting the Secretary in natural resources policy development and implementation, coordinating with more than a dozen departments, boards, and commissions. He served as the agency representative on the California Coastal Commission, was a principal participant in the historic Headwaters Agreement, and was the primary negotiator with the federal government regarding possible Endangered Species Act listing of coho salmon and steelhead trout on California’s North Coast.
From 1999 to 2003, Jim worked in the private sector, assisting with the implementation of Pacific Lumber Habitat Conservation and Sustained Yield Plans.
Jim graduated from California State University, Chico, in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He and his wife Patricia live in Placer County.