DMV Executive Leadership

STEVE GORDON, Director

Photo of Steve GordonSteve Gordon was appointed Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles by Governor Newsom in July 2019. Gordon comes from the private sector with experience in the high-tech and life sciences markets. He has spent most of his career leading various global services businesses at Cisco Systems and global business services at Becton, Dickinson and Company.

Gordon has a BA in Business Administration from CSU, Stanislaus.


CRISTIANA ROJAS-APPLETON, Chief Deputy Director

Photo of Cristiana Rojas-AppletonCristiana Rojas-Appleton was appointed Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles by Governor Newsom in November 2021.

Rojas-Appleton worked at the California Department of Transportation from 1989 to 2019 and held positions as Deputy Director of Administration, Assistant Chief Counsel, and attorney. She joins the department from the California Public Utilities commission where she served as Director of Human Resources since 2020.

Rojas-Appleton earned a Juris Doctor degree at Lincoln Law School in 1998 and a Bachelor of Arts at UC Davis in 1987.


EDWARD D. SWENSON, Assistant Chief Deputy Director

photo of Ed SwensonEdward D. Swenson was appointed Assistant Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Motor Vehicles by Governor Newsom in September 2021.

Swenson was the Senior Director of Global Services Logistics Planning as part of Cisco’s Global Customer Experience leadership team. During his more than 30-year career in the technology and utilities industry, Swenson has held many positions in engineering, software development, customer assurance, product security incident response (PSIRT), and business development.

He earned Master of Science degrees in Management and Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.


AJAY GUPTA, Chief Digital Transformation Officer

photo of Ajay GuptaAjay Gupta was appointed Chief Digital Transformation Officer in February 2020. The CDTO leads technological efforts to enable the DMV to become a modern enterprise. Gupta has served as a special advisor to the DMV Director since 2019.

Before joining state service, Gupta worked as a managing director at KPMG, where he led the delivery of legacy transformation, technology innovation, and managed services for State departments nationally. Gupta brings more than 23 years of public sector experience to the DMV. He served state departments in California, Texas and Hawaii while working for CGI Inc., Visionary Integration Professional Inc., Deloitte LLP, and Tata Consulting Services.

Gupta has a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and an MBA in Marketing and Information Technology from UC Davis. Gupta is also certified as a PMP, CSPO, Cloud Practitioner, and Enterprise Architect.


ANITA GORE, Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs

photo of Anita GoreAnita Gore was appointed Deputy Director of Communications by Governor Newsom in July 2019. Gore has been a communications consultant at the California Department of Public Health since 2016. She was deputy director of the Office of Public Affairs at the California Department of Public Health from 2011 to 2016 and deputy director of the External Affairs Department at the California State Board of Equalization from 2004 to 2011. Gore was public affairs director for the California Department of Conservation in 2004, assistant director of communications at the California Department of Finance from 2002 to 2004 and assistant secretary of external affairs for the California Health and Human Services Agency from 1994 to 2002. Gore was deputy director of communications for the California Employment Development Department from 1991 to 1994 and assistant press secretary in the Office of the Governor from 1990 to 1991.


BARRY STEINHART, Deputy Director, Legislative Office

photo of Barry SteinhartBarry Steinhart served as Assistant Executive Director at the California Energy Commission since 2015. He also was Principal Consultant in the Office of California State Senator Mark Leno from 2008 to 2015, and Principal Assistant in the Office of California State Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Sally J. Lieber from 2006 to 2008.

Prior to entering state public service, Steinhart was a partner at Widowski and Steinhart (1998-2010), President and Chief Executive Officer at James Purcell Designs (1989-2004), Associate at Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman (1986-1989) and at Proskauer Rose (1983-1985).  Steinhart was an attorney at Bendix Corporation-Allied Corporation from 1982 to 1983.


ROBERT CROCKETT, Deputy Director, Administrative Services Division

Photo of Robert CrockettRobert Crockett was appointed in June 2018. The Administrative Services Deputy Director oversees seven branches with more than 600 employees who are responsible for administrative support, business management, departmental training, financial services, budgets, facilities, and human resources.

Crockett served as an Accounting Technician at the Department of Food and Agriculture before joining DMV in October 1998. He held a variety of positions in the department’s accounting office, including Accountant Trainee, Accounting Officer Supervisor, and Staff Administrative Analyst of Accounting Systems. From July 2007 through February 2011, Crockett took on the role of Assistant Division Chief before becoming Chief of the Budgets & Fiscal Analysis Branch from March 2011 through June 2018.

Crockett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California State University, Sacramento.


SONIA HUESTIS, Deputy Director, Customer Services Division

photo of Sonia HuestisSonia Huestis took on the role of Acting Deputy Director of the Customer Services Division (CSD) beginning October 2016 and was officially appointed to the position in February 2018. The Deputy Director is responsible for the department’s customer communication areas, which consist of the contact centers, website and information release areas.

Huestis joined DMV in July 2016 when she was appointed Assistant Chief Deputy Director. Previously, she was Deputy Appointment Secretary at the Governor’s Office. She also served in multiple positions at the California State Controller’s Office beginning in 2000, including Section Chief for the Operations Support Unit, Staff Services Manager II for the Unclaimed Property System Replacement Project, Staff Services Manager I in the Reporting Services Unit, and Staff Services Analyst.

Huestis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento.


COLEEN SOLOMON, Deputy Director, Field Operations Division

Photo of Coleen SolomonColeen Solomon was appointed in December 2018. The Field Operations Deputy Director is responsible for the overall management and operation of the Field Operations Division (FOD), which include the development and implementation of policies and procedures to support the department’s mission critical programs of vehicle registration, driver licensing and related services to the public.

Solomon served as a Criminal Identification Specialist at the Department of Justice from December 1993 until November 1997, when she joined DMV as a Driver Safety Hearing Officer. She held several leadership positions in her 16-year tenure with the Driver Safety Branch and became Chief of the Driver Licensing Branch in November 2013, filling that role until she moved on to FOD as the Assistant Deputy Director in the fall of 2018.

Solomon has served as Chair of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) Problem Driver Pointer System/National Driver Registry Working Group and the Region IV Representative of the AAMVA Driver Standing Committee. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento, and a Master of Science in Human Relations and Business from Amberton University.


RICO RUBIONO, Deputy Director, Information Systems Division

photo of Rico RubionoRico Rubiono was appointed in November 2016. As Chief Information Officer, he oversees DMV’s Information Systems Division (ISD), which includes implementing the department’s information technology, and coordinating infrastructure and service delivery across DMV. Rico is responsible for managing the Information Technology (IT) budget and actively leading approximately five hundred IT staff at DMV.

Rubiono was Deputy Director of the Communication Programs Division for one year before being called on to lead ISD. He began his state service in the division, holding various positions throughout a 28-year career, including developer, database administrator, application development manager, and as technical delivery manager for multiple major IT projects. Rubiono was also Chief of the Information Technology Services Branch.

Rubiono has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from California State University, Sacramento, and is a graduate of the DMV Leadership Development Academy.


CHRISTINA MICHEL, Deputy Director, Investigations Division

photo of Christina MichelChristina Michel was appointed in September 2021. She provides oversight and direction for the Investigations Division (INV), which conducts complex criminal, administrative, and civil investigations involving identity theft, financial fraud, document counterfeiting, employee fraud, and illegal odometer and vehicle identification alterations. 

Before assuming her new role, Michel served as Area Commander of the Northern Special Operations Command, which supervised the Internal Affairs-North office, as well as the Investigative Analysis and Protected Records Units.  She also was involved in the development and implementation of the division’s Data Forensics Team.  Michel joined the DMV in 2006 as an investigator in the Stockton investigations office and later transferred to the DMV’s Internal Affairs office where she held positions as an investigator and sergeant.

Michel began her law enforcement career with the California Highway Patrol in 2002 as a patrol officer.  She also served in the United States Marine Corp.

Michel currently attends National University where she is pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Business Management.


JUAN F. CORNEJO, Deputy Director, Legal Affairs Division

photo of Juan F. CornejoJuan F. Cornejo was appointed Chief Counsel and Deputy Director of the Legal Affairs Division in July 2021. Previously, Cornejo served as Assistant General Counsel at the McClatchy Company LLC since 2003. He was Legal Counsel at DHL Holding Inc. from 2002 to 2003 and General Counsel at Lebensart Global Networks AG from 2000 to 2002. He was an Associate at Thelen, Reid and Priest LLP from 1999 to 2000, Cooley Godward LLP from 1997 to 1999, Kauff, McClain & McGuire from 1995 to 1997 and Nossaman, Guthner, Knox and Elliott from 1992 to 1995.

Cornejo earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.


TRINA WASHINGTON, Deputy Director, Licensing Operations Division

photo of Trina WashingtonTrina Washington began serving as the Deputy Director of the Licensing Operations Division in January 2021. In her role, Washington oversees the DMV’s licensing programs and operations, which includes Policy and Automation Development, Occupational Licensing, Driver Safety, and Motor Voter programs.

Washington started her DMV career as a Motor Vehicle Representative in the Field Operations Division (FOD). She held several leadership positions in the Registration Operations Division from 2007 to 2017, and became the Program Manager in Customer Service and Program Support. Washington served as FOD’s Region III Administrator, which she oversaw field offices in the greater Sacramento from March 2017 to January 2021.


BERNARD SORIANO, Deputy Director, Registration Operations Division

photo of Bernard SorianoBernard Soriano was appointed in August 2019. The Registration Operations Division (ROD) Deputy Director is responsible for oversight of DMV’s vehicle registration program, which includes vehicle registration and titling, motor carrier permitting, clean air decals, special plates, and disability parking. The division also oversees several public-private partnerships, including oversight of the Electronic Lien and Titling Program, Business Partner Automation Program, and Automobile Clubs. ROD manages DMV’s relationships with the Franchise Tax Board, Board of Equalization, Department of Tax and Fee Administration, Bureau of Automotive Repair, and Air Resources Board. ROD’s staff also oversees the state’s Alternative Registration Products pilot, which includes digital license plates and registration documents accessed through a mobile device.

Soriano joined the DMV in December 2004 as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Deputy Director of the Information Systems Division. He has been serving as the Deputy Director of the Enterprise Risk Management Division since 2012. Before joining the department, he served as the CIO for the California Secretary of State and CalFire. In the private sector, Soriano held technical and management positions at Hughes Space & Communications, where he worked on satellite control systems and participated in their launch missions. He was also the assistant technical director at the USGA Research and Test Center. Soriano was an adjunct faculty member at California State University, Sacramento, where he taught in the College of Engineering and in the College of Business Administration. Soriano was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was a finalist in the NASA astronaut program.

Soriano has a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California, an M.B.A. from California State University, Sacramento, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from the University of California, Davis.