Meet the Board Members
E. Joaquin Esquivel, Chair
E. Joaquin Esquivel was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board by Governor Jerry Brown in March 2017, designated by Governor Gavin Newsom as Chair in February 2019, and reappointed to the board by Governor Newsom in 2021. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency in the Governor's Washington, D.C. office, where he facilitated the development of policy priorities between the agency, the Governor's Office, the California Congressional delegation, and federal stakeholder agencies.
For more than eight years prior to that, Joaquin worked for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California, most recently as her legislative assistant covering the agriculture, Native American, water, oceans, and nutrition portfolios, in addition to being the director of Information and Technology.
He was born and raised in California's Coachella Valley. He holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in English.
Dorene D'Adamo, Vice Chair
Dorene D'Adamo was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board in 2013 and reappointed by Governor Newsom in 2022. She serves as Vice-Chair and also as the member with experience in the field of water supply and water quality relating to irrigated agriculture. Ms. D’Adamo is on the Board of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley and previously served on the Valley Coalition for UC Merced's Medical School and on the Governor's Drought Task Force. She was a member of the California Air Resources Board from 1999-2013 under the Brown, Schwarzenegger and Davis Administrations, where she was instrumental in the board's air quality and climate change programs and regulations.
Ms. D'Adamo served in various capacities for Members of Congress from the San Joaquin Valley over a 20-year period, working primarily on environmental, water and agricultural legislative policy.
Ms. D'Adamo earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Davis and a Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Sean Maguire was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board in December 2018 by Governor Brown and is a registered civil engineer.
Mr. Maguire has had a diverse career both in both public service and as an engineering consultant, which provides a valuable perspective of the administrative challenges facing a government agency and needs of a broad array of water interests.
From 2015-2018, Mr. Maguire worked for the State Water Resources Control Board as a manager of the Storm Water Grant Program in the Division of Financial Assistance, and later as a manager in the Division of Water Rights where he oversaw administration of water right change petitions, licensing, and cannabis cultivation permitting. Prior to joining the Board, from 2003-2015, he worked for an engineering consulting firm serving a variety of municipalities and water agencies throughout the state, focused on water resources planning, drinking water, and wastewater infrastructure projects. Much of his work revolved around integrated water management and developing long term water supply solutions to meet the needs of both water users and the environment.
Mr. Maguire has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from California State University, Sacramento.
Laurel Firestone was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board in 2019 and reappointed by Governor Newsom in February 2023. Prior to joining the Board, Laurel co-founded and co-directed, from 2006-2019, the Community Water Center, a statewide non-profit environmental justice organization based in California's Central Valley and Central Coast. Her career has focused on ensuring all Californians have access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water, and building increased diversity, equity, and inclusivity into water decision-making.
Laurel has received a variety of awards and recognitions for her work, including the James Irvine Foundation's Leadership Award in 2018, and the Gary Bellow Public Service Award by the Harvard Law School in 2013.
Laurel served on the Tulare County Water Commission from 2007-2012, as well as a variety of state policy advisory committees. She has partnered with universities to develop research and clinical programs to further the human right to water, and written articles and publications related to drinking water and the environment.
Laurel graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Environmental Studies from Brown University.
Nichole Morgan was appointed as the civil engineer to the State Water Resources Control Board by Governor Gavin Newsom in June 2021. Ms. Morgan most recently served as an Assistant Deputy Director in the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Financial Assistance, where she worked on projects providing funding for drinking water, wastewater, storm water and groundwater infrastructure improvements. During this time Ms. Morgan also managed a variety of additional programs including the Lead in Child Care Centers, Fish Advisories, and Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification programs.
From 1999 to 2009 Ms. Morgan worked for public agencies and engineering consulting firms. Her responsibilities included planning, designing, and overseeing the construction of drinking water, wastewater and recycled water treatment and conveyance facilities throughout California. Ms. Morgan joined the State Water Resources Control Board in 2009 where she worked as staff in the Division of Financial Assistance, Delta Water Master’s Office, and the Division of Water Rights. Ms. Morgan worked as a manager at the Central Valley Regional Water Board from 2012 to 2018, where she managed the region’s NPDES program. She returned to the State Water Board in 2018 as the head of the Office of Sustainable Water Solutions and was promoted in 2019 to an Assistant Deputy Director with the Division of Financial Assistance.
Ms. Morgan has a Bachelor in Science in Civil Engineering from California State University, Sacramento.