An Indian American woman, Suja Lowenthal, has been elected to the California Coastal Commission and will be sworn in May 10.
As an alternate voting member, the Chennai-born Suja will serve when Larry Clark, the coastal commission's south coast representative, cannot attend the commission meetings.
The Coastal Commission helps plan and regulate the use of land and water in the state's coastal zone.
Suja came to the US with her family at the age of five. She grew up in Los Angeles County and earned a bachelor's degree in economics, an MBA from California State University and a Doctorate in Policy, Planning and Development.
"It is an honour to serve as council member Clark's alternative," she said.
In 1993, Suja joined the Los Angeles Department of Aging. Currently, she serves as the chief of strategic planning and initiatives for water replenishment in southern California.