California’s state parks system has a new acting director.
Lisa Mangat, whose résumé includes tours of duty with several state departments, is taking the helm of the $654 million California Department of Parks and Recreation following Anthony L. Jackson’s abrupt resignation earlier this year after just 18 months on the job.
Jackson, a retired Marine Corps major general, took over parks after a Sacramento Bee investigation in 2012 revealed the department ran an off-the-books employee leave buyout program and sat on tens of millions of dollars, all while soliciting charitable contributions and planning to close facilities during a deep budget crisis. The scandal cost several high-level officials their jobs and prompted lawmakers to create a commission charged with recommending how to reform the the troubled department’s finances, operations and culture.
Mangat served as Jackson’s special assistant starting in October 2013, according to an internal memo issued Wednesday that announced her promotion. Before that, Mangat was a program manager at the Department of Finance, worked at the Legislative Analyst’s Office and was a consultant in the Legislature. She launched her state career in 1988 as an analyst for the Department of Social Services.
Mangat has bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of California, Davis, and an MBA from the California State University, Sacramento, according to her biography on the Department of Finance website.