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Gov. Jerry Brown this afternoon appointed his wife, Anne Gust Brown, to be special counsel to the governor - an unpaid position - and appointed two executive secretaries, Jim Humes and Nancy McFadden.

Gust Brown, 52, was an unpaid adviser to Brown when he was attorney general and in his campaign.

Humes, 51, was chief deputy attorney general to Brown and was a top adviser in the transition. He was appointed executive secretary for administration, legal affairs and policy.

McFadden, 51, was appointed executive secretary for legislation, appointments and policy. She was senior vice president at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. from 2005 to 2010 and was an adviser to Gov. Gray Davis.

Humes and McFadden, both Democrats, will each be paid $175,000.

Brown is using the title "executive secretary" instead of chief of staff, the title used by recent governors.

Humes is widely praised as a highly competent administrator and is not considered a political operator.

McFadden was deputy chief of staff for the Office of the Vice President from 2000 to 2001, and she was general counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation before that, according to a statement issued by Brown's office.

Humes worked in the Colorado attorney general's office in the 1980s and early 1990s. He is from Illinois, where he attended Illinois State University. He attended University of Denver College of Law.

Brown said immediately after winning election that he might not appoint a chief of staff, saying the title "kind of conjures up, you know, Eisenhower's Cabinet." He said he might flatten the administration, relying more directly on department heads.

When he was last governor, from 1975 to 1983, Brown referred to Gray Davis, who would later become governor, as his "executive assistant and chief of staff." Other governors have called their senior-most administrators executive secretaries or executive assistants.


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