Regent Charlene Zettel

Charlene ZettelCharlene Zettel is the former Chief Executive Officer of Donate Life California, the state-authorized nonprofit administering the nation’s largest organ and tissue donor registry. She became CEO of Donate Life California in October, 2011 and retired in January, 2016.

Gubernatorial appointments included Director, San Diego Office of the Governor; Board Member, San Diego Regional Airport Authority; and Director, California Department of Consumer Affairs. 

As Director of Consumer Affairs, Charlene provided oversight of over 40 regulatory boards and bureaus, employing over 2,000 people and licensing 2.5 million Californians.

At Consumer Affairs, Charlene led a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to battle identity theft and to protect children from online predators.

Charlene was elected to the Poway Unified School District Board of Education in 1992 and was the first Republican Latina elected to the state legislature, serving from 1998 - 2002. 
In the State Assembly, she was Republican Caucus chair, vice chair of Jobs and Economic Development, and a member of Appropriations, Education, Health, Rules, and Transportation committees.

As a legislator, Charlene championed laws protecting seniors, the developmentally disabled and children from abuse. 

In addition to state service, Charlene received a presidential appointment as a Public Interest Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.  

Raised in Los Angeles, she received a Bachelor of Science from the USC School of Dentistry where she met her husband, David. They have two grown sons, Brent and Jeff.

Zettel was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2009 for a 12 year term.

Term of Appointment

May 6, 2009
Term expires:
March 1, 2021

Committee Membership (2019-2020)

Academic and Student Affairs
Health Services
National Laboratories (Chair)
Public Engagement and Development