EDD Executive Staff
Patrick W. Henning
Patrick Henning was appointed the Director of the California Employment Development Department in 2014. Patrick had served as chief deputy appointments secretary in the office of California Governor Jerry Brown from 2011 to 2014. He was the legislative advocate at the California Council of Laborers from 2004 to 2011, and prior to that was appointed by the California Governor as the assistant secretary for legislation and intergovernmental affairs at the Labor and Workforce Development Agency from 2003 to 2004, and deputy director at the California Department of Industrial Relations from 2000 to 2003. Henning held various positions in Washington D.C. from 1995 to 2000, including special advisor and congressional liaison to President Bill Clinton and legislative assistant to Congressman Vic Fazio. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
Previously, Henning was an appointed member of the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (Prop. 63), the California Career Technical Education Standards and Framework Advisory Group and the California Assembly Speaker’s Commission on Labor Education. He has also served as the chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Commission of West Sacramento, CA.
Chief Deputy Director
Chief Deputy Director
Sharon Hilliard was appointed Chief Deputy Director of the Employment Development Department (EDD) in January 2013. Ms. Hilliard brings to her position over 33 years of experience in various capacities at the EDD. Ms. Hilliard began her career in 1983 as a Student Assistant with the EDD while obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Ms. Hilliard has been in a leadership role for much of her career including Deputy Director of the Tax Branch, Chief of the Field Audit and Compliance Division, Chief of the Tax Processing and Accounting Division, and Chief of Field Audit and Compliance Division – Central Operations and Underground Economy. In addition, she has held positions in the Tax Support Division, Integrity Accounting Division, and the Directorate’s Office.
Greg Williams was appointed Deputy Director of the Administration Branch in October 2013. The Administration Branch includes oversight of Human Resource Services, Labor Relations, Fiscal Programs, and Business Operations and Planning Support. Prior to EDD, Greg served as Chief Operating Officer at the Department of State Hospitals, where he was responsible for human resources, labor relations, business and risk management, and law enforcement operations. He has also served in leadership positions governing strategic planning, licensing and revenue, health and safety and workers compensation at several other State Departments. He completed leadership academies through the California Health and Human Services Agency and at the Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly Department of Fish and Game), and has taught leadership classes through the university and community college systems. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Sacramento.
Disability Insurance Branch
Renee Gibson was appointed Deputy Director of the Disability Insurance (DI) Branch in June 2016. The Disability Insurance Branch administers the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program which contributes to the economic security of California by providing affordable benefits to eligible workers. Nearly 18 million California workers are covered by the SDI program.
Renee brings to this position over 28 years of state service and carries a strong background in leadership, organizational development, and strategic planning. Furthermore, Renee has extensive experience in implementing, leading and overseeing statewide programs with external-facing and customer-oriented operations such as child support, court ordered debt, personal income tax, and employment tax programs. Prior to joining EDD in 2013, Renee held various leadership positions with the Franchise Tax Board and served on many key enterprise initiatives such as business process management and reengineering, leadership development and workforce planning. Renee has built strong relationships with external partners and advocacy groups and continues to be a strong advocate for delivering innovative and quality services to the people of California.
Renee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and she is a graduate of Leadership for Government Executives from California State University, Sacramento.
Information Technology Branch
Gail Overhouse was appointed Deputy Director/Chief Information Officer of EDD’s Information Technology Branch in August 2012. Ms. Overhouse’s career spans over 30 years in state information technology in various executive positions. Prior to joining EDD, Gail served as the Project Director of the California Child Support Automation System (CCSAS) for the Department of Child Support Services implementing a single statewide child support system.
Gail spent several years as Deputy Director of Statewide Telecommunications at the Office of Technology Services where she was responsible for implementing the state’s telecommunication strategy and vision. Gail also spent 13 years as Bureau Chief for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Hawkins Data Center where she managed network services, system infrastructure and communication applications such as the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) which provides tactical criminal justice information to all California Law Enforcement Agencies. At DOJ, she worked extensively with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to provide automated solutions to meet the critical needs of the criminal justice community.
Policy, Accountability and Compliance Branch
Gregory M. Riggs
Gregory Riggs was appointed Deputy Director of the Policy, Accountability and Compliance Branch (formerly Program Review Branch) on July 31, 2008. The Policy, Accountability and Compliance Branch contributes to the Employment Development Department’s (EDD) programs by providing oversight, technical assistance, and other services that help improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of the program’s operations. Key services provided by this Branch include: overseeing legislative and intergovernmental affairs, conducting program and financial audits, administering customer service surveys, investigating allegations of fraud and tax evasion, monitoring federal Workforce Investment Act grant recipients, monitoring access to services for migrant and seasonal farm workers, conducting special studies and evaluations, and providing statistical analyses.
Mr. Riggs first began his career with EDD in the early 1990s working as an Employment Program Representative for the Unemployment Insurance and Job Services programs. Mr. Riggs has also held positions as Chief of the Unemployment Insurance Adjudication Services Division, Deputy Director of the Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Office, and Assistant Secretary of Policy and Program Development at the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
Prior to State service, Mr. Riggs was employed by the San Joaquin and Sacramento County Municipal Courts, the Sacramento Alternative Sentencing Program, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Public Affairs Branch
Loree Levy was appointed Deputy Director of the Public Affairs Branch in November 2002. The Public Affairs Branch includes the Communications Office, Marketing and Constituent Services, and the Web Content and Usability Group. Ms. Levy works closely with the Department, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and the Governor’s Press Office to release information about EDD programs and policies to the news media.
Ms. Levy began her career at EDD in April 2001 when she was appointed Assistant Director of the Communications Office. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Levy spent 15 years in television news. In the Sacramento area, she was an on-air reporter for NBC-affiliate KCRA-TV Channel 3 and a news anchor for “Good Day Sacramento” at KPWB-TV Channel 31. Ms. Levy is a native Sacramentan and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from California State University, Sacramento.
Lisa Wheeler is the Deputy Director of the Tax Branch for the Employment Development Department (EDD). As the Deputy Director, Ms. Wheeler is responsible for the administration of the accounting, auditing, and collection functions of California’s payroll tax program.
Ms. Wheeler has worked for the State of California for over 26 years, 24 of which were with the EDD. During her tenure at EDD, Lisa has worked in a variety of leadership capacities throughout the Tax Branch’s Collection Division and Tax Support Division, along with EDD’s Administration Branch’s Human Resource Services Division. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), with a concentration in Management. In addition, Ms. Wheeler participated in the Leadership for Government Executives Program at CSUS, along with participating in the EDD’s Director’s Office Internship program to experience global perspective and exposure of the services provided by the entire Department for the State of California.
Unemployment Insurance Branch
Sabrina Reed began her career with the Employment Development Department (EDD) in 1979 in the Labor Market Information Division (formerly Employment Data and Research). Sabrina has been in leadership positions throughout the EDD including the Administration Branch, Information Technology Branch, Disability Insurance Branch, the Directorate’s Office, and most recently the Unemployment Insurance Branch as Chief of the Integrity and Accounting Division. Sabrina was instrumental in leading the effort to streamline the EDD’s new benefit payment system, the Electronic Benefit Payment (EBP) Project. As Project Director for the EBP Project, Sabrina led the implementation of the EDD’s new payment system that provides both debit card and direct deposit services for disbursing Unemployment Insurance and State Disability Insurance benefit payments in lieu of paper checks.
Workforce Services Branch
Mr. Dennis Petrie was appointed Deputy Director of the Workforce Services Branch on April 1, 2003. Mr. Petrie’s career spans over 20 years in the Human Services industry where he gained a broad range of knowledge and experience relative to community-based programs and service delivery. Mr. Petrie also has administrative and grassroots experience in community services, juvenile justice, and workforce development.
Mr. Petrie began his executive level service to the State of California in January 1999. Previously, Mr. Petrie was the regional manager for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where he coordinated and managed the delivery of the workforce development program. In this capacity, he developed private and public sector employment and training opportunities, supervised government contracts, and documented program outcomes. Mr. Petrie also served various community and public-based organizations managing fiscal, personnel, and program resources.
Mr. Petrie received a Bachelor of Arts, Human Services from California State University, Dominguez Hills and completed graduate work in Public Administration at California State University, Los Angeles.
Ms. Clifton was appointed General Counsel in January 2002. She has over 20 years of state service and has been the Senior Counsel at the Department of Health Services since 1993 where she advised the Department on Conflict of Interest Laws, the Public Records Act, and Confidentiality Laws, as well as serving as their Lead Attorney on the implementation of HIPAA privacy and security rules and their Internet and Technology projects.
Ms. Clifton has also served as a Deputy Attorney General with the Department of Justice where she represented the State in the criminal appeal process and as a Deputy Legislative Counsel with the Legislative Counsel Bureau where she drafted legislation and prepared legal opinions on proposed bills and attended and testified at legislative committee hearings. In addition, Ms. Clifton was also a trial attorney in private practice for more than seven years.
In 1979, Ms. Clifton received her J.D. law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.