A native of Southern California, Sara Catalán has over 20 years of experience in public service. She served as the Chief of Staff for Senator Ling Ling Chang and the Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director to Congressman Ed Royce. Sara earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis majoring in History. She began her career in the State Assembly and State Senate before leaving politics behind to attend graduate school at Pepperdine University. She earned her Masters’ Degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine, graduating in 2002.
After graduating in 2002, Sara accepted a position with U.S. Representative Ed Royce and was quickly promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff where she managed the district operations and the district staff. While serving in this capacity, Sara created many successful events including the Human-Trafficking Congressional Advisory Committee, Federal Grants Assistance Program, and the Royce Annual Women’s Conference, just to name a few. The women’s conference grew during its decade-long tenure to feature numerous high-profile keynote speakers including former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
During her time in the State Senate, serving as Chief of Staff, she managed multiple offices and balanced the legislative and outreach priorities for Senator Chang. Although she worked for the number one legislative target, she assisted in the passage of 9 bills and 6 Resolutions over her term, including one which passed unanimously and 6 signed by the Governor. She directed the outreach efforts of a district encompassing almost 1 million residents of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Sara also directed the operations of the Senate office during the COVID-19 pandemic including managing an outreach and community relations program – all operating remotely.
Sara also served as a coordinator for charity events and organizations in her tri-county area. She has volunteered for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Lincoln Juarez Opportunity Center, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Sara served on the board of the California Women’s Leadership Association as Board President and PAC Chair and is a graduate of the inaugural class of Marian Bergeson Excellence in Public Service Series.
She has received many accolades over her career including: Legislative Staffer of the Year; the Marian Bergeson Excellence in Public Service Series, Alumni of the Year; Web Wise Kids, Outstanding Champion for Children’s Issues; School of Public Policy Representative Alumni Leadership Council, Pepperdine University. Sara has also served as a Coach and Manager for Little League and a coach for JUSA and AYSO soccer organizations.