The Executive Team

The Executive Team

2019 NxtGov Executive Team

The NxtGov Executive Team manages business operations and leads strategy for the organization. Reach out to the team anytime at collaborate@nxtgov.org and via social media.

Angelica Quirarte, Executive Director

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Angelica Quirarte, also known as Angie, serves as Assistant Secretary for Digital Engagement at the CA Government Operations Agency. In her role she develops and implements state-level governance structures and policies for digital innovation. She works to increase digital services capacity and develops web design standards and best practices to increase awareness on open data and encourage the development of user centered design and data analysis skills in government. Angie previously led or coordinated statewide initiatives such as the Civil Service Improvement, the CA Lean Academy, the creation of the CA Department of Tax and Fee Administration, and data engagement events such as the 2018 Safe Drinking Water Data Challenge. To support the platform of change, she founded NxtGov, a network of government change-agents looking to bring pride back into public service and break the silos to help us collaborate, serve, and inspire the next generations of public servants.

Executive Team Members

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Top row, left to right: Danielle Metzinger (Deputy Director), Carlos Aguilera (External Communications and Digital), Sharzad Najarzadeh (Member Liaison), Craig Castleton (Ambassador Program Director). Bottom row, left to right: Tonia Burgess (Director of Professional Development), Seth Yund (Director of Recruitment), Meagan Tokunaga (Director of Community Engagement).

Danielle Metzinger, Deputy Director

Danielle Metzinger is a Learning and Development Specialist at CalSTRS, and serves as Membership Lead for NxtGov including administering the new NxtGov Ambassador Program. Danielle’s interest in public service led her from the nonprofit to the public sector in 2013 when she began her career at the State of California. Since then she’s collaborated on several initiatives to develop the state workforce and improve civil service. Danielle is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Organization Development from University of San Francisco.

Carlos Aguilera, Director of External Communications and Digital

Carlos is an Analyst at the Office of the Secretary of State and the NxtGov Recruitment Lead. Carlos was an undergraduate student at San Diego State University completing his Bachelor Degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology. After graduation, Carlos was employed in the City of Rialto under the First 5 grant. He was an integral member of the Healthy Rialto team, which serviced 1000 children within the city introducing low-income families and communities to information on nutrition, exercise, and healthy living. When afforded leisure time, Carlos stays active through exercise, playing futbol, or hiking. He enjoys traveling the world and adventuring to other countries.

Sharzad Najarzadeh, Member Liaison

Sharzad is an Analyst at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the NxtGov Member Liasison. Ms. Najarzadeh started her state career in 2008 and simultaneously continued her education. She attended all of the Los Rios Community Colleges before transferring to Sacramento State University. There she received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. When afforded leisure time, Sharzad enjoys volunteering in the community, being outdoors, and a nice cup of tea.

Craig Castleton, Ambassador Program Director

Craig is a Regulatory Analyst at the California Fish and Game Commission and the Ambassador Program Director. Craig graduated from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland with a Bachelors degree in Archeology and Geography, and after graduation moved to California in 2015. Craig began his career with the State of California in 2016 as a Park Interpretive Specialist with California State Parks, followed by a human resources position on the hiring desk of the California Conservation Corps. Craig lives in Sacramento with his wife Fiona and their two cats, and still enjoys discovering parts of the city that are new to him. Craig is also a keen half-marathon runner, and loves to explore the diverse landscapes of California.

Seth Yund, Director of Recruitment

Seth Yund is an Air Pollution Specialist at the California Air Resources Board and Director of Recruitment with NxtGov. Seth transitioned from a career in biological research to State service to understand and enhance how data influences the development of policy. He received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Chapman University and is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at the USC Center of Sacramento. In his free time, he enjoys wondering about life and being with friends.

Tonia Burgess, Director of Professional Development

Tonia is a native of California.  She is a dynamic leader, change manager, speaker, author and business advocate.  Tonia identifies the needs of the business and offers solutions to move the company in an upward trajectory.  She is also a spiritual activist who has a strong faith that drives her to encourage, empower, inspire and motivate others to live their best lives. Tonia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and an MBA with a concentration in Organizational Leadership.  She has over 30 years working in state government in the areas of customer service, small business certification, outreach, and advocacy.   As a small business liaison with her current department, Tonia assists California small businesses (SB) and disabled veteran business enterprise (DVBE) with accessing state contracts. She also educates SBs and DVBEs on the benefits available to them when working with state and local agencies.  Through collaborative efforts with the states strategic partners, Tonia is the lead analyst in planning and participating in workshops, procurement panel discussions and conferences that host thousands of SBs and DVBEs each year. Tonia believes in the power of now!  And she embraces a now mindset in her personal and professional life.

Meagan Tokunaga, Director of Community Engagement

Meagan is a Finance Budget Analyst for the California Department of Finance. She works in affordable housing policy and is grateful to join in the Administration’s efforts to facilitate development and reduce housing costs. Meagan is a third-generation Californian and a lover of her hometown of Albany. For her, public service is the perfect combination of an opportunity to give back and an outlet for excessive pragmatism. She has a B.A. in Public Policy and Environmental Analysis from Pomona College. Outside the office, Meagan identifies as an eager slow-pitch softball player, an unapologetic board gamer, and a proud big sister.

DISCLAIMER: This is an unofficial organization that is not connected to any one government entity.

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