Virginia Jameson

Deputy Secretary for Climate and Working Lands at the California Department of Food and Agriculture

Virginia Jameson is a passionate advocate for climate action and sustainable agriculture. She currently serves as the Deputy Secretary for Climate and Working Lands at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), where she oversees the implementation of programs and policies that support farmers and ranchers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing carbon sequestration. She also works closely with other state agencies and stakeholders to advance the goals of the California Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan.

Jameson has a wealth of experience in the fields of conservation, natural resources management, and environmental policy. Prior to joining CDFA, she was the Climate and Conservation Program Manager at the California Department of Conservation (DOC), where she led the development and administration of the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, the largest farmland conservation program in the nation. She also managed DOC’s participation in the California Climate Investments Program and coordinated DOC’s climate change adaptation and resilience efforts.

Before working at DOC, Jameson was the Deputy State Director for the American Farmland Trust (AFT), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. At AFT, she directed the California office’s policy and advocacy work, as well as its research and outreach projects on topics such as agricultural land use planning, farmland protection tools, farm viability, and climate-smart agriculture.

Jameson began her career in the public sector as a Management Specialist for the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, where she assisted with the implementation of various agricultural programs and regulations. She then served as a Board Aide for Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker, where she advised on issues related to land use, water, transportation, and health. She also worked as the Associate Director for Girls Incorporated of the Central Coast, a nonprofit organization that empowers girls and young women through educational and leadership programs.

Jameson has a strong background in international affairs and sustainable development. She earned a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from American University, where she focused on the nexus of food security, climate change, and human rights. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As part of her academic training, she conducted field research on rural development and environmental justice in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Mexico.

Jameson is a native Californian who grew up in the Central Valley. She currently lives in Pacifica with her husband and two children. She enjoys hiking, gardening, and cooking in her spare time. She is also an avid traveler who has visited more than 30 countries across six continents.