Ravel gained prominence during California's initiative campaigns last year, waging a legal battle to identify the source of an $11 million donation from a secretive Arizona group. That entity donated money to a committee opposing Gov. Jerry Brown's measure to raise taxes and supporting a controversial campaign finance measure.
The full-time, six-member Federal Election Commission administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act. Ravel's appointment requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Ravel has experience in Washington, D.C. She was working as a U.S. Justice Department official when Brown appointed her chairwoman of the FPPC in 2011.
Ravel declined to comment about her nomination.
PHOTO: Ann Ravel, chairwoman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, in her office in December 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Renée C. Byer