Selection Committee Member
Executive Director, California State Association of Counties
Matthew Cate began serving as the executive director of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) in November 2012, after serving for more than four years, under two governors, as secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As CSAC executive director, he oversees an influential Association that represents California’s 58 counties at both the state and federal level. Cate plays an integral role in developing and implementing advocacy strategy on a wide variety of issues of importance to California counties. As corrections secretary, Cate was instrumental in implementing sweeping reforms to the department that resulted in reduced recidivism, the end of the prison overcrowding crises, reduced prison spending, and the historic realignment of many public safety services from the state to the county level. During the Brown administration, he also served as chairman of the Board of State and Community Corrections and the Prison Industry Authority. In addition, in 2010, Cate was elected by his national peers as regional president of the Association of State Correctional Administrators.
Prior to his appointment as secretary, Cate served for four years as the California Inspector General, where he was responsible for public oversight of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Since 2007, he has also served on the California Rehabilitation Oversight Board. Prior to becoming California’s Inspector General, he served as a state and local prosecutor. From 1996 to 2004, he held the position of deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice. Cate has also served as a deputy district attorney for Sacramento County, a business litigation attorney with the law firm Downey, Brand, Seymour & Rohwer, and has held several positions as an instructor of legal and law enforcement-related topics. Cate has also recently joined Stanford University School of Law as a Law and Policy Fellow.
Cate earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Oregon School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Linfield College, where he was a National Scholar Athlete. He is a member of the California State Bar.