Jacob Appelsmith of Sacramento was appointed Director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on May 18, 2017.
Appelsmith returns to ABC after serving as the Chief Campus Counsel at UC Davis since September 2013. He previously served as Director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) from January 2011 until September 2013. He began his career as a lawyer with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in San Francisco, where he worked for six years as a commercial litigator. He joined the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, in 1994. He began working in the Employment Law Section. He eventually became the Department of Justice’s general counsel for personnel and equal employment opportunity matters, as well as the statewide head of the employment law section.
In 2008, Appelsmith was promoted to Special Assistant to then Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. on matters pertaining to law enforcement and the criminal justice system, and was also appointed Chief of the California Bureau of Gambling Control. As Chief of the Bureau, he oversaw regulatory and criminal enforcement relating to California’s 60 tribal casinos and 90 card rooms. Appelsmith graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1985. He was Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the History Department’s highest honor award.
He returned to his native Berkeley to attend law school, graduating from the University of California Boalt Hall School of Law in 1988. While at Boalt, he worked as a student clerk to California Supreme Court Justice Allen Broussard. Appelsmith was an Associate Editor of the Industrial Relations Law Journal, and clerked at law firms in New York and Portland, Maine.